Kingsport, TN asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Tennessee

Q: I am looking to create my own line of word puzzle books/app. To what extent can I use names and other IP?

Can I use team names from the NHL? Or a list of movies in the MARVEL Cinematic Universe? A list of books written by Stephen King? I want to expand my hobby to the creative side, but don't want to open myself up to a copyright or trademark lawsuit.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Using names and other intellectual property (IP) in your own work without permission or a license may infringe on the rights of the owners of that IP, potentially leading to legal issues such as copyright or trademark infringement.

Using team names from the NHL, a list of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or a list of books written by Stephen King could potentially be considered trademark infringement, as those names are likely registered trademarks owned by the respective entities. However, fair use exceptions may apply in certain situations, such as for criticism, commentary, or educational purposes.

It's important to research and understand the IP rights associated with the names and content you want to use, and seek permission or a license if necessary. It's always better to err on the side of caution to avoid legal issues. You may want to consult with an IP lawyer for more specific guidance and advice.

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