In a new lawsuit, the star, who played Lucious Lyon on all six seasons of Empire, says bosses at the company failed to offer a satisfactory answer when asked how they came up with the "Empire" logo - since he never sat down for a photoshoot.
He says he ultimately determined the image was taken from the "Hustle & Flow" scene where "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" is being recorded in a studio, explaining, "The still frame was selected, reversed (face looking left, not right), and subjected to CGI that simply distilled the cinematographer's skilled capture of the head with vibrant light and shadow."
Howard insists he should be compensated for use of the image as he would have been paid by officials at Paramount - the studio behind "Hustle & Flow" - if 20th Century Fox got a proper license to use his image from the movie.
He's suing for damages and wants an accounting of all the "Empire" merchandise using the logo, according to TMZ.
Terrence Howard and FOX fell out as the show was coming to an end earlier this year. In March, the actor filed a lawsuit against the TV bosses for breach of contract over allegations of outstanding payment. According to him, he has not received his fees for the last three episodes produced.
The TV channel was also caught up in a legal battle between Howard and ex-wife Michelle Ghent. She served FOX bosses with a legal notice seeking to have her ex-husband's wages sent directly to her since he owed her spousal support.
Howard was ordered to pay Ghent $1.3 million in backdated spousal support last August. As he's appealing the ruling, he declined to cut a cheque until his challenge was heard.