Copyright protects original works of authorship. In cases of original works, copyright registration would provide notice to others that your work is protected by copyright and that you are the copyright owner.
Trademark infringement is based on – at least partially because there is more than one factor -- the similarity of the marks – where the marks do not need to be exactly the same to be considered similar. This can be sound alike or look alike – and other elements of similarity.
Generally, trademark rights are based on use. Using a mark gives common law rights to the user of a trademark. Registering a trademark with the federal government will give extra rights in addition to the common law rights. Therefore, even if a trademark does not have an active registration,...Read more »
Just because a trademark registration has a status of abandoned, does not mean that the trademark owner stopped using the mark or that someone else has not started using the mark in the same or related class.
If i go to Starbucks and purchase a reusable cup, am I legally allowed to go home, personalize it with a name or decoration and resell it? I’ve read several things, such as the “first sale doctrine”, and that leads me to believe that this is legal as long as I am not reproducing the logo or... Read more »
When you buy the cup, you own the cup, but you do not own the copyright rights associated with the logo. Your additions could be considered as creating a derivative work without the copyright owner's permission. Also, you would be infringing upon the trademark, and, since Starbucks mark is...Read more »
Proper comprehensive trademark search based on your international class of goods or services along with analysis of likelihood of confusion need to be done. It is not possible to give concrete yes/no answer over this forum with out complete information. Search need to happen, before i can say...Read more »
Nobody but the owner can tell you it is "allowed." If you do it without the owner's permission, the owner can sue you for trademark or copyright infringement if it finds out about it. The court would then decide if what you did infringed, based on all the facts.
If you use images of Waldo and other recognizable features of the books, then yes, it would infringe the copyright. Getting permission might be difficult to track down the owner. The book publisher might have the rights, or the author might have retained them. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain...Read more »
Our products were sold exclusively by a large fortune 500 company under a trademarked brand name. They have recently stopped selling our products in lieu of creating their own line. I'd like to know if, in our marketing, we can say, [our product name] has been sold by [their company name]... Read more »
Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local intellectual property attorney to review all the facts of the situation and advise you if the large company might take any action against you if you do that.
A trademark can be registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, with any of the states, or with foreign countries. You can easily check the databases of any of those to find out if it has been registered. But there is no requirement to register a trademark. Many famous trademarks have not...Read more »
A court would have to decide which elements of a trademark are significant, and if the overall impression of the other design infringes the trademark. If the trademark owner believes that design creates a likelihood of confusion with its trademark, or if the infringer's design is trying to...Read more »
i work at a bar, and created an image of ohio using the logos of the breweries in ohio. i want to be allowed to sell the image on shirts but dont know how to go about doing so. i do not know how to find if images are copyrighted or trademarked and therefore am unsure about my next step. any help is... Read more »
The only way is to conduct an image search via the USPTO's database of registered trademarks. Images are a bit tougher to research than word marks, because there's a bit of subjective interpretation in the description of the designs and their potential similarity to other registered...Read more »
It is possible, but generally not recommended. If you claim only the words, and not the look of the mark, the registration will not apply to the look. Also, in order to obtain and maintain a trademark, you have to use it. There may be limited circumstances where you would want to do this. You...Read more »
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