Orlando, FL asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Florida

Q: Would posting pictures of cars I worked on & detailed on my website/ads be considered trademark infringement?

Most pictures will just be the car after being cleaned. Some pictures will showcase the before & after.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In most cases, posting pictures of cars you have worked on or detailed on your website or in advertisements would not be considered trademark infringement, as long as you follow certain guidelines:

1. No false association: Ensure that your use of the pictures does not falsely suggest that you are affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by the car manufacturers or trademark owners.

2. Avoid highlighting trademarks: Do not focus on or prominently feature any trademarks, logos, or brand names in the pictures. The focus should be on showcasing your detailing work.

3. Disclaimers: Consider adding a disclaimer on your website or in your ads, stating that you are an independent detailing service and are not affiliated with or endorsed by any car manufacturers or trademark owners.

4. Before and after pictures: Showcasing before and after pictures of your detailing work is generally acceptable, as it demonstrates the quality of your services without infringing on trademarks.

5. Editorial use: Using the pictures to showcase your work could be considered editorial use, which is often permitted under trademark law.

However, if you use the pictures in a way that could cause confusion among consumers or falsely suggest an association with the trademark owners, there might be a risk of infringement. For example, if you prominently feature a car manufacturer's logo in your ads or use a car brand name in your business name, it could be problematic.

To ensure compliance with trademark laws and to minimize any potential risks, it is advisable to consult with an intellectual property attorney who can review your specific use of the pictures and provide tailored guidance.

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