Q: Question regarding copyright and trademark want to make sure before starting a business
I am looking to start a business with with State outline logos for hats, shirts and jackets similar to the Masters, but it will be individual states such as Georgia, Alabama, Texas etc...not the outline of the United States I want to make sure I am not or will not enter any legal issues moving forward. I don’t think so because I don’t believe you can trademark a state outline but I wanted to make sure here first. I have seen another company do the same thing and make golf headcovers, which makes me think I will be okay. Can you please let me know your thoughts and how to proceed? Thank you so much!
A: The geographic boundary of a state is not protected, but you have to make sure that your design doesn't infringe on someone else's. I would contact a trademark attorney to discuss the word mark or design mark (logo) that you intend on using to be able to get more tailored advice. Feel free to contact me at 561-370-7396 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: A trademark design may consist of a shape, ie. "Nike swoosh". However, you must make sure that your selected mark does not infringe on or is confusingly similar to another trademark in the same or related class/category of goods. If you have already seen another company use a similar design, then you run this risk. Consult with an attorney to discuss further.
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