Philadelphia, PA asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania

Q: Can I sell basketball jerseys that use real names and numbers of NBA players, BUT the names are in a made up alphabet

The jerseys do not use any similar colors or shapes of the player’s real team. Also, this made up alphabet that I create will not be disclosed. So it will take other people to “crack the code” if you will, but numbers and length of names will be clues.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Seattle, WA

A: Be careful about the NBA's trademarks, and the players' rights of publicity here. But if it's not readily apparent that you're pointing to another's trademark; or that the players' identities are readily discernible, your risk of infringement here is quite low.

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