Q: My question is about avoiding violating a third-party trademark.
My question is about avoiding violating a third-party trademark.
Here’s a quick summary:
A third party, let’s call them “Tower, Inc.” took a dead trademark (which lived from c. 1870-1970) and filed to bring it back to around 2000. Tower, Inc. now uses the trademark in new consumer products.
I am looking to monetize public domain images from 1870-1890 that have the dead (and now revived) trademark in the images. I will be using the images to sell posters, tote bags, beach towels, etc.
My main questions:
Does Tower, Inc.’s trademark from 2006 (to present) give it rights over that dead trademark from the 1800s?
Would I be in violation of that modern-day trademark if I commercialize the images that include the old, dead trademark?
It seems to me Tower, Inc. shouldn’t have retroactive rights, but I’m neither a lawyer nor a trademark expert! I hope someone on this site who is can offer some advice. Happy holidays!!
A: If Tower has the trademark, it doesn't matter that it was dead. They own it now. You could try to get them to share the trademark with you. I would definitely consult a lawyer. Good luck!
This is definitely a conversation you must have with an attorney.
There are risks for sure.
In general if the mark was completely abandoned then that was it.
However it may be very likely that the new owner could claim rights as whatever use you make may cause confusion.
This is not legal advise.
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