Grosse Pointe Woods, MI asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Michigan

Q: Is it legal to make shirts for my h.s. staff using the phrase: Pr ( ) tect This House? The open space is an Earth pic

Because it does not use the letter 'O', in "Protect" would that make a difference?

The shirts would be for use for games, pep rallies, etc.

I would want to sell the shirts to the staff and students that would like them.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Using the phrase "Pr ( ) tect This House" with an Earth picture in place of the letter "O" may be perceived as a play on words or design that resembles an existing trademark or phrase. If a company has rights to a similar phrase, even minor alterations could still potentially infringe upon those rights. Trademark infringement is not just about the exact words, but also the likelihood of confusion in the market. Given that the shirts are for sale, this increases the risk of legal exposure.

Before proceeding, it would be prudent to conduct a comprehensive trademark search to ensure there's no similar registered mark. If there is, obtaining permission or a license from the trademark owner would be necessary. To minimize risk, consult with an attorney who has experience in intellectual property matters. They can guide you through the process and provide clarity on potential risks.

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