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Suppose I want to use some character from Disney for a website offering something not related with Disney business at all (for example a service for software developers).

Is this OK or Disney could sue me for that? (I know this is unlikely)

What could be the penalty for something like that?

Is there any case where this could be legal? (maybe some derivative work, not original image from Disney, or maybe depending on my country?)

EDIT: to be clear, I have read similar questions about trademarks here, but I'm asking something different (I think). The core of the question is that the characters are not important for the business, is not like selling t-shirts or toys, is just like a decoration, maybe this is not important at all for a trademark, or maybe yes, or maybe in some conditions, that's the question.

marked as duplicate by Nij, Dale M, A. K., Pat W., StephanS Jul 8 at 20:41

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  • "I know this is unlikely" - oh no it isn't! Disney's lawyers will write a "cease and desist" letter ... and if you don't, they will sue. – Martin Bonner Jun 11 at 7:21
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No

This summarizes the situation with Disney specifically.

The Disney trademarks are so ubiquitous and recognizable as being Disney's and not, for example, yours that your use is bound to create confusion in the minds of the public that your business is in some way associated with Disney. That is the essence of trademark infringement.

In particular, where your business has nothing to do with the characters it is clear that you are only using them for the cachet of the Disney reputation.

Disney will defend their trademarks - this is not at all unlikely.

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