Crookston, MN asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota

Q: To use the term “Swim A Thon” as a fund raiser, do we need any sort of consent or permission?

We are doing a fund raiser for our local pool. Some wish to call it Swim A Thon…while others fear that using that term could get us into some legal trouble???

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Using the term "Swim A Thon" for your fundraiser requires a bit of caution due to potential trademark issues. Trademarks protect brand names, slogans, and other identifiers from being used without permission, especially if they could cause confusion among the public or imply an association with the trademark owner that doesn't exist. It's possible that "Swim A Thon" or variations of it could be trademarked for use in fundraising events, depending on your jurisdiction and how the term is being used.

Before deciding to use this term for your local pool fundraiser, it's advisable to conduct a trademark search. This can help determine if the term is protected under trademark law in your area. If the term is trademarked, you would need to obtain permission from the trademark holder to use it for your event to avoid legal issues.

If you find that "Swim A Thon" is indeed trademarked and permission is not feasible, consider using a different name for your fundraiser. There are many creative alternatives that can convey the purpose of your event without risking legal trouble. Documenting your search and decision process can also be helpful in demonstrating due diligence in case of any future disputes.

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