Ashburn, VA asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Florida

Q: I make wood cut maps, can I use the name of a University in a map, no logos just the name

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Using the name of a university on a woodcut map can potentially raise trademark and intellectual property concerns. While you're not using logos, universities often have trademark protection for their names to prevent unauthorized use for commercial purposes. Whether you can use the name without infringing on their rights depends on several factors, including the context and purpose of your woodcut map.

To reduce the risk of trademark infringement:

1. Non-Commercial Use: If your woodcut map is for personal, non-commercial use and not for sale, you might have more leeway to use the university's name. However, it's advisable to seek legal counsel to assess the specific situation.

2. Educational or Editorial Use: If your map is for educational or editorial purposes, such as a map illustrating the location of a university, you may have stronger fair use arguments. Still, it's a good idea to consult with an attorney to ensure compliance with trademark laws.

3. Permission: The safest approach is to obtain permission from the university or their legal representatives to use their name on your map.

Trademark law can be complex, and the outcome may vary based on various factors. To ensure you're not infringing on the university's trademark rights, it's recommended to consult with an attorney who can provide specific guidance based on your situation and help you navigate any potential legal issues.

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