We receive an order to build a model of one of the America's Cup team boats (team NZ-winner). Like the attached image. My question is about all the trademarks on the boats. Will it be possible to replicate if client sign a T&C (term of service) which states that they have the right with all trademarks? If they sign then do I need to double check before making one for them? We are in NZ. Thanks enter image description here


You have to make all reasonable efforts to ensure they have the rights: asking them is probably not enough.

For example, on the image you posted I can see the trademarks (and copyrights) of Emirates, Omega and Toyota. Now, a reasonable person knows that these are owned by three independent companies, so the person commissioning your work needs to demonstrate to you that they have the permission of all of these companies to commission the reproduction. "But he said he did" is unlikely to be a successful defence.

Notwithstanding, even if they give you letters from those companies and other things that indicate they do have permission all that does if they actually don't is limit your damages to an accounting of profits i.e. you would only have to pay them the profit you made when they sue.

  • Thanks @Dale M May I ask if you have any advice for us? We don't want to give up on our customer's order and obviously going to ask for every trademark's permission doesn't make it feasible either :( – Andy Aug 1 '17 at 0:40
  • Also what about people selling stickers? Do they need to ask for permission? Can i sell stickers separately then? – Andy Aug 1 '17 at 0:51
  • You seem to be missing a basic fact about intellectual property rights - they are a property right. Just like you can't sell my car without permission, you can't sell my IP either. – Dale M Aug 1 '17 at 2:25

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.