The Philadelphia Phillies are suing to ensure that their iconic and longtime mascot stays in Philadelphia.

The lawsuit was filed Friday against the agency originally behind the mascot, Harrison/Erickson, Inc. The company, founded by Wayne Harrison and Bonnie Erickson, brought the Phanatic to dedicated Phillies fans in 1978. Harrison and Erickson were originally paid $200,000 by the Phillies by the end of 1980 for their work on the Phanatic, which took off in Philadelphia.

Erickson was also a longtime collaborator with Jim Henson on "The Muppets." She was an active part in designing the cast of famous puppets and has designed mascots for other teams, such as the Chicago White Sox.

However, the situation changed in 1984 when Harrison and Erickson backed out of the original agreement to negotiate a new licensing deal with the Phillies. The new deal saw Harrison and Erickson paid $215,000 for their work on the Phanatic while the team reportedly got the permanent rights to the mascot.

The Phillies filed the new lawsuit in response to a threat from Harrison and Erickson’s firm to “obtain an injunction” that would allow the Phanatic to become a “free agent” if a new deal isn’t negotiated.

But the Phillies contend that the original deal grants them permanent ownership and such an injunction would be a violation of Phillies trademarks.

Cole Hamels Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels could be wearing a different uniform by the end of the week. Reuters/Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports