New York, NY asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York

Q: Displaying others' marks in ads

In a video advertisement for a home services company, which was shot in an actual customer's home, household products are seen in the background and in use, with labels visible. These are shown for less than 2 seconds. Should these labels be redacted and/or does the owner of the marks of those products have to give permission?

2 Lawyer Answers
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You should be fine if the products shot are portrayed in the manner they are commonly portrayed and the audience is not led to believe that the product brands are sponsoring or associated with the product/service being featured in your video ad. That does not mean you won't get sued or receive a cease and desist letter. The best way to avoid this scenario altogether is to not show or blur/remove the logos of these products.

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Will Blackton agrees with this answer

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in New York

A: Permission via a license agreement is required. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

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