Union City, NJ asked in Copyright and Trademark for New York

Q: Can I use the name if I have something I would like to sell on ebay that resembles the symbol?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brandon M. Selinsky
Brandon M. Selinsky
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Denver, CO

A: I could give you a better answer if I had some additional information. For now, I will assume that the thing you are selling on eBay is the product of another company. For the sake of discussion, I will assume that company is Nike. If you are selling something with the Nike Swoosh on it, you cannot sell it under the name "Nike." Doing so would be a violation of Nike's trademark and would get you some swift and unwanted attention from their attorneys.

If, on the other hand, you are selling a product that is simply in the shape of the symbol you want to use, and your question is whether you can sell it under the name of that shape, then the answer is 'yes' unless doing so would infringe someone else's mark or would otherwise be prohibited. That is true for any name under which you are selling products: you can use it unless there is a reason why you cannot. The name does not have to be connected to the shape of your product, but it could be. For example, if the product is in the shape of the Greek letter 'omega,' and you want to use 'Omega' as your seller name, you can, as long as 'Omega' is available as a seller name and, again, not already in use for a similar product by someone else.

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