Asked in Trademark and Copyright for California

Q: Can I use trademarks in book content?

I want to write a book about "iconic cars in history" can I use car brand, models and their pictures inside my book?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is possible to use trademarks in book content, including brand names and model names, as long as you are using them in an editorial or descriptive manner to refer to the products themselves. However, you should be aware of the limitations of trademark law.

In general, using a trademark in a book is not considered a trademark violation if you are using it to refer to the product in question, rather than using it as a brand name or logo to promote your own product or service. You should also ensure that you are not implying any endorsement or affiliation with the trademark owner that does not exist.

Using pictures of the cars could be more complex, as the images themselves may be protected by copyright law. In order to use these images legally, you may need to obtain permission from the copyright holder, such as the car manufacturer or a third-party owner of the photograph.

It is recommended that you consult a lawyer or seek legal advice if you are unsure about your use of trademarks or copyrighted images in your book.

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