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Minnesota Trademark Questions & Answers
3 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: What are the general rules for political slogans and their use on products that I would sell? Thanks in advance.

I am looking at printing some political shirts for my business in the coming years. I am wondering what the rules are for using political slogans on products that are intended for sale? Thanks

Alexander Ivakhnenko
Alexander Ivakhnenko answered on Sep 24, 2021

There are slogans, and there are slogans.

Even if the First Amendment protects free speech (slogans do fall under that), their purpose, content and meaning may be falling outside of the First Amendment protection if the slogan calls for violence, incites riots, unrests, or promotes open...
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1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Can a logo from a free site that we customized be trademarked? Another company used the free site and the same logo....

We customized the logo (colors, and words) and the other company just used the stock logo without customizing it from the free site and are trying to send us a letter in the mail from a lawyer saying we have two months to change our logo. We purchased it and have the rights to use for our business... Read more »

Kathryn Perales
Kathryn Perales answered on Jul 21, 2020

Well, it depends. If this other company has registered a trademark for the logo for the same or similar goods or services that you are using your similar logo for, such that consumers would be confused between the logos, then you've got a problem. On the other hand, if the other company... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Is the cease and desist order I was sent an actual legal document, and is it a baseless claim or not?

I'm the host of a paranormal radio show and I use a promotional poster to announce my guests each week. During a recent show, a woman from MA messaged me saying I was infringing on her trademark because the slogan for my radio show was similar to what she uses for her website and apparel,... Read more »

Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Mar 22, 2020

She may have a trademark in that phrase, which is completely different than copyright. Your best best is to look up the phrase in the USPTO directory to see if it’s actually a registered mark.

For purposes of a trademark, there wo d be no difference of your use her use of “we are” vs...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Are there copyright/trademark restrictions that prevent me from selling merchandise with pictures of people's cars?

The pictures would be taken by customers of their own cars and would likely have the vehicle logo visible, and below the picture there would perhaps be a name for the vehicle they choose or a phrase of their picking...

Thank You!

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Dec 30, 2019

Be careful on this

if it is on request of the owner of the car, and it is limited, you may be ok

you should definitely consult with an attorney before jumping in

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: had an invention that was seen on the internet recently...took a while but finally saw the invention or one similar...

need to know what can be done to help me on this situation...

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Dec 6, 2019

This happens, unfortunately, all the time.

If you have a patent on your invention, then go see a patent litigator to give you options on how to get some sort of licensing agreement of your patent in place, or to file a suit.

Good luck!

2 Answers | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: TM search & no results, google search showed 2 others with Instagram accts w/ same name

The 2 hits on google were Instagram accts; one created last month and the other 4/2017. I started mine late 2016 early 2017. One is a graphic designer who created a logo for a "client" but then this month after contacting me about same name, listed shirts for sale on his Instagram acct.... Read more »

John Martin Hilla
John Martin Hilla answered on Jul 31, 2019

Respectfully, you seem to be seeking the assurance of an attorney that your proposed trademark is "safe" for purposes of a trademark registration application without actually hiring or paying for an attorney--and without disclosing what that proposed mark actually is.

You are not...
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2 Answers | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Trademark Cancelled can Product still be sold in the market.
Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on Apr 22, 2019

Trademark registration does not allow one to sell in the marketplace. Just because a trademark is canceled does not mean that it's free for public use. There is an article on my website on this very topic.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: If I created a design/logo for shirts. Should I get copy right, trademark or both? Another ? added to more infor section

Also, the design/logo includes words. So, if I change the words color and/or font does it still protect under the copyright/trademark law still? Even if I submit something to the copyright/trademark in black font and a specific font.

Sean Erin Serraguard
Sean Erin Serraguard answered on Apr 18, 2019

Based on the facts we have, it sounds like a trademark. Specificaly, it sounds like two trademarks, a word (standard character) mark containing just the characters and a design (special form) mark containing the logo. Remember that trademarks/service marks are for distinguishing goods and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Hi, Could you tell me whether or not I can use the trademark “Date Bar”?
Nyasha A. West
Nyasha A. West answered on Aug 19, 2018

When trademarking a name, the name may not cause confusion with another business . Currently, "The Date Bar" is a registered trademark for a fruit and nut business and therefore cannot be trademarked for a similar business. If you are attempting to trademark the name for a different type... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Would making "Bigger Baller Brand" shirts break any trademark laws?
Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Jun 13, 2018

A common reason Trademark registrations are denied is “Likelihood of Confusion” with an existing mark. The mark you have indicated would likely cause consumer confusion with the existing “Big Baller Brand.” By way of example, you would also have difficulty registering something like “And... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Education Law, Copyright and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: I work in several schools and wondering if you can help with a couple of questions to clarify questions that I get.

1) Students/teachers are 3D Printing items such as Mickey Mouse.

2) Students/teachers are using a plasma table to cut NFL/MLB logos, Harley Davidson logos and then sell to community.

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Feb 23, 2018

Generally, creating and selling branded items with someone else's trademark, like a professional sports team, is trademark infringement and is against the law. In most cases, making 3D printed objects is fine. If you are creating and selling copyright protected characters, you could run into... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: We would like to use "Born to Sparkle!" on a shirt for a fundraiser. "Born to Sparkle" without the "!" is registered.

Would this be okay?

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Feb 7, 2018

The pertinent question to ask when analyzing possible trademark infringement is whether or not there would be a reasonable likelihood of confusion between the two marks. So, ask yourself if leaving off the exclamation point would make it so a potential customer would not be confused that your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Trademark Help

I just started a business doing cases for mobile device, gaming consoles, tablets, etc. I just found out today a direct competitor has the same domain name as me but adds a few characters to the end of his URL. We are both ecommerce and both sell basically the same product. I know he does not have... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Feb 6, 2018

You are not necessarily in the wrong here. The two marks may be distinguishable. Although, its difficult to say without knowing the exact names. It is also possible the other user may have surrendered its rights by not enforcing its mark. An attorney would need to know all the facts to make a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Can we trademark NoMore and be put on shirts even though a organization is called NOMORE and sells clothing?

A organization named NOMORE talks about spreading awareness about domestic violence. They also make shirts that they sell with the words NoMore on it. Can we still sell it and copyright NoMore?

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Oct 11, 2017

You may be able to register the trademark "NoMore" for clothing. It depends on how the other organization uses "NOMORE", whether it is registered as a trademark, and the goods associated with the hypothetical trademark registration. A trademark attorney can perform a trademark... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: When the Justia site says something has a registered "wordmark" do you mean the LOGO or the company name in body copy?

I am a proofreader and I am trying to determine if a trade name can appear in body copy/regular font with a circle-R. My understanding is that this is a "wordmark"? And that this is a different registration than the trademark within a LOGO.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on Sep 4, 2017

If a mark is designated as a "registered" mark, that means it is registered in the USA with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for goods (a "trademark") or for services (a "service mark"). Marks can take different forms, such as simply words;... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Is it legal to use verses from the bible on "print on demand items" to sell online? Do I need a license? I live in MN.
Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Aug 29, 2017

It depends on what version (edition/translation) of the bible you're quoting.

The ancient versions of religious texts are almost certainly in the public domain, and freely usable. However, any quote you're likely to come across in the "print on demand" context is...
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2 Answers | Asked in Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: Is trademark LVL with the serial number 86678966 still active? if not is there any way i could get a hold of the owner?
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Jul 31, 2017

The person who filed that trademark application filed it to use the "LVL" mark in conjunction with the sale of clothes. The trademark examiner reviewed the existing trademarks, and decided that selling clothing under the LVL mark would be confusing to consumers because of the existing... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota on
Q: do i need to ask approval to use a trademarked name in the title of a mobile app or can i disclaim we're not associated?

i'd like to create a study guide app for a certification exam but am not sure if i need approval from the certification body to use it in the name / description...or if i can just disclaim that the app isn't associated with the certification body and i'd be clear?

Lucas Wynne
Lucas Wynne answered on Jan 25, 2017

You need approval.

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