I am developing a plan to offer a selection of products of similar design in a new online shop.

These designs incorporate the Intellectual Property of others (large corporations) but in a way which I believe constitutes fair use.

I want to speak with a legal professional, show them the artwork and learn about how to best manage the risk of business disruption from IP claims. I want to know what limitations I will have in promoting the products online. I want to know if disclaimers on the work would help my case. Also really I want to be prepared to fight a claim in court.

I have never sought a legal counsel so just wondering what the best venue would be to get a consultation to answer these questions so I can move forward with the project.

  • Note that some of things you are planning on doing may have trademark issues as well as copyright issues. Oct 25, 2022 at 3:44

2 Answers 2


It seems you have gotten over half-way there by understanding some of the possible legal issues, and realizing that you have to engage an attorney. Apparently you want to sell a product where aspects of the design of the product might infringe someone's copyright, and you want to market the product online. By providing samples of your product and the "other" products, you would provide a basis for a legal professional to assess the probability of an infringement lawsuit (how similar are the items?). You have some reason to think this might be okay under fair use (suggesting a US business, since there is no "fair use" in England), so a statement of your rationale would be useful (mentioning the 4 factors).

Similarly, be prepared to explain why you think that online marketing might have bearing on the question of infringement. I suppose the reasoning is that it's more likely that you would get caught if the product is marketed online, compared to sold by word of mouth with the aid of signs in front of your house.

You could ask "would disclaimers on the product help avoid an infringement lawsuit?", though since I can’t imagine how a disclaimer on a product would immunize against a lawsuit, you might be better off explaining what you would be disclaiming, and why you think that is relevant to the question of infringement.

Anytime someone intends to infringe copyright, the first question would (or should) be, why not get permission to copy the content in question?

You can Google "attorney referral service", which will give you the names of services, such as nolo, findlaw, lawyers, avvo, also the local bar association (sometimes) then you can fill in zip code, general legal area and a "what's the issue" summary, and you may get instant replies or eventual replies. This will tell you the names of some attorneys who purport to work in IP law as opposed to tax law or criminal law.

  • "suggesting a US business, since there is no "fair use" in England" how do you know that the OP is in one of those two countries?
    – Someone
    Oct 25, 2022 at 3:36

The same way you find any professional

Finding them, probably by internet searches, and reference checking.

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