Paducah, KY asked in Business Law, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Kentucky

Q: Can I put game logos, images, and/or names on my business sign to indicate that those games are available?

Can they be a part of my own business logo?

2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: Using game logos, images, and names on your business sign or as part of your business logo may raise intellectual property and trademark issues. The logos, images, and names associated with games are often protected by intellectual property laws, and using them without permission from the respective owners could lead to legal consequences. To avoid infringement, it's advisable to seek permission or licenses from the owners of the games or their intellectual property rights. Alternatively, you can explore creating your own original and distinctive business sign or logo that does not incorporate copyrighted or trademarked material.

James L. Arrasmith
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A: Using game logos, images, or names of other companies or products on your business sign or as part of your business logo can be problematic from a legal standpoint. These elements are typically protected by copyright and trademark laws, and using them without permission could constitute infringement.

Incorporating such elements into your own business logo is particularly risky. A business logo is meant to represent your own brand identity and using another company's intellectual property could mislead consumers about the affiliation or endorsement between your business and the game companies.

If you wish to indicate that certain games are available at your business, the safer approach is to get explicit permission from the game companies. This is often done through a licensing agreement, where you get the rights to use their logos, images, or names in a specific way.

Remember, intellectual property laws are designed to protect the rights of creators and owners. Using someone else's copyrighted material or trademark without permission can lead to legal disputes, including potential lawsuits.

It's advisable to consult with a legal professional before using any copyrighted or trademarked material. They can provide guidance on how to legally use such material in your business signage or marketing efforts. Remember, building a unique brand identity while respecting others' intellectual property rights is key to a successful and legally compliant business.

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