Appleton, WI asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Wisconsin

Q: Copyright Use

Hello I am currently developing a college football website, and I created a logo that I am wondering if it would be OK to use. The logo uses the Big Ten conference font and says "B1G" like the Big Ten logo, but it is stretched out and there is a football filled inside of the letters (might be easier to send a photo). The B1G is in the background with the words "DECEPTIVE SPEED" in the foreground of the logo. The site is going to be satirical. Wondering if this would be OK to use.

1 Lawyer Answer
Andrew Zulieve
Andrew Zulieve
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Waldoboro, ME

A: You probably should discuss this with an experienced intellectual property attorney. The issue may implicate issues of both copyright and trademark law. Your proposed logo may infringe the trademark rights of the Big Ten Conference if your logo creates consumer confusion as to the source of your services or products and those sold or rendered under the Big Ten mark. Your logo may infringe the copyright of the Big Ten Conference if your logo is a substantially similar reproduction of the Big Ten logo. Both issues are fact-intensive, perceptual and often complicated to analyze. So, again, I recommend that you seek the advise and opinion of legal counsel before embarking on your described business venture. Good luck!

Andrew J. Zulieve, Esq.

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