Questions tagged [trademark]

A trademark is a sign, logo or design of some kind that distinguishes a particular product or service (or its provider or source) from others.

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38
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4answers
11k views

Can UPS really trademark the color brown?

So, today as I received an email from UPS, I read the disclaimer at the end and it said: © 2016 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. UPS, the UPS brandmark, and the color brown are trademarks of ...
35
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7answers
8k views

Can “Dumb Starbucks” be legally considered Fair Use as satire or parody?

About a year ago, a new, familiar-looking coffee shop opened in LA. Their reasoning for this was, basically, that it's making fun of the popular coffeehouse chain and is thus fair use: Naturally, it ...
29
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4answers
7k views

Why register a logo as trademark if copyright protects it?

If everything I created is protected by the copyright; No one can use it without my permission. Why would I need to register it as a trademark to protect it? If something is too simple to create, it ...
25
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1answer
6k views

On what grounds can Instagram contest the use of the domain name slutsofinstagram.com?

A Reddit user registered the domain name slutsofinstagram.com, and has created a kind of parody cover story (Reddit; Imgur): Welcome to Slütsof In Stagrâm an online fantasy series about a Princess ...
21
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2answers
4k views

Trademark violation for app?

I've just received an email from a Turkish app developer who believes my app infringes on his trademark. I've done some reading and read that essentially I'm not allowed to violate any patents or ...
16
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3answers
5k views

When google.com was available to be bought after a clerical error, did they lose their right to own it?

When the domain google.com became available to be bought after a clerical error, it was bought by a man for $12 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34504319). I'm curious to know, because Google ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Can I name a real company after a fictional company found in a book?

Can I name my company after a fictional company (of the same type) found in a book?
13
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3answers
4k views

Understanding trademark infringements in a world where many dictionary words are trademarks?

How does one even create the title of an app when basically most nouns in the English language have been trademarked? When and when isn't a trademark valid? For example, I was surprised that even the ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Can you be accused of hotlinking/copyright violation if you use an iframe?

Can you be accused of hotlinking or copyright infringement if you use an iframe (web element) of another website? Can you be sued for this if the website doesn't prevent iframe using and doesn't ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Can infringement of a trademark be pursued for using a company's name in a sentence?

If I have a sentence on my business website stating something similar to "Mr. Smith participated in the process that ended with Pepsi acquiring Silly Sally's Sodas" Is this a basis for ...
11
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2answers
339 views

Status of a trademarked but public domain work of fiction

There is a series of books published in the early 20th century. Copyright on at least some of them have expired; they are in the public domain, and are being widely republished. However, the ...
9
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2answers
5k views

Can I invert other companies' logos and use them for advertising them on my site?

I'm building a site that aggregates food delivery services in my region. I show all the companies I collected as a list of cards, where each card contains the logo of a company, company name, link to ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Can I use a brand name in my book title?

I want to publish a book, which will be sold at a modest price. I will be self-publishing. I'm in the US. My book is, by its nature, very specific. It is basically a "how to" guide for how to write ...
9
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1answer
643 views

Is it legal to write software to convert data from a proprietary format?

I have created a piece of software that converts a proprietary format from the database blob of a large, well known commercial software company into the equivalent open source data type. The large ...
8
votes
1answer
841 views

How can a restaurant, Old Homestead Steakhouse, continue their false claims of selling Kobe beef?

About a year ago, Inside Edition reporters first revealed that two high-end restaurants in New York City, La Bernardin and Old Homestead Steakhouse, were serving beef that they claimed to be Kobe beef,...
8
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3answers
350 views

Is there a fair use exception for trademarks?

The copyright law has the famous fair-use exception, where you can legally use some parts of copyrighted works without having to pay any royalties to, or ask any permission from, the copyright holder. ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Is the term “ZIP Code” trademarked?

The exact words: " Look Up a ZIP Code™ " appear at the top of one of the pages at USPS.com. "Zip Code" seems to have the Trademark™ next to it in many other places on the site, but not everywhere. ...
6
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2answers
740 views

Can an author of an app use logos that belong to auto manufacturers?

Consider a mobile app related to automobiles. In order to identify the make of a vehicle within the app (in list views, menus, and buttons, for example), the author might choose to use logos that ...
6
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3answers
91 views

Opposing trademark registration

Context Three years ago, my small team and I created a product that we've been selling ever since. To clarify that I meant to use the name as a trademark, I added the trademark symbol (™) after the ...
6
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1answer
112 views

Do IP laws (trademark, etc) make web domain addresses containing celebrity names illegal?

This question pertains specifically to intellectual property laws as interpreted in USA. For the sake of discussion here are 3 fictional web domains, each including a celebrity name but each with a ...
5
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2answers
140 views

What is the relation between Trademarks and Domains?

For what I have read here, I understood that if I buy a domain of an already registered trademark (in which country, by the way?), I might have a problem at hands. But it is not clear to me what ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Trademark “un-revivable”?

I've encountered a trademark in the USPTO database which is listed as: CONTINUED USE NOT FILED WITHIN GRACE PERIOD, UN-REVIVABLE What does this mean and what rights might the trademark registrant ...
5
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1answer
423 views

Can I legally update, republish and sell an old electronic game?

I played a game back in 1999 from Westwood Studios that really impacted me, and I want to remake it with modern graphics. Westwood Studios has since been acquired by Electronic Arts and I would like ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Am I allowed to use my university's logo?

After graduating from college I am more than relieved to be done. What I am curious about is if it is ok to feature the logo image from my school on social media or perhaps on my personal website ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

Can I make fun of VW car company in a game?

I'd like to make fun of a company in a computer game (obvious parody/satire/etc.). Let's say I change the logo, so it's a "WV" in a rectangle instead of a "VW" in a circle and change the companies ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Can I use the ® symbol in the play store for a trademark registered in the Benelux?

When publishing an app in the Google Play store, I would like to use the ® symbol for the name of a product that is not registered as a trademark in the USA, but it has been registered as such in the ...
4
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2answers
697 views

How risky is modifying the logos of social media sites?

A lot of websites have social media buttons, which allows users to share the page on various sites. These buttons use the logos of these sites. Most social media sites don't allow third parties to ...
4
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2answers
502 views

Do I have to write the (R) and (TM) of e.g. “Intel Core i5” in an academic publication?

I'm finalising an academic publication (a written research paper that will be published at a conference and be available online), and I am mentioning the computer used to run the experiments: Intel ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Use of trademark in personal email alias

I've just signed up to a new service (company) using my usual practice of giving them a unique email address companyname@mydomain.com. I've just received an email stating: Thank you for ...
4
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3answers
4k views

What are the laws on showing another company's logo in commercial photos?

On a webpage we would like to have a background image demonstrating our product on different devices. The current images we have contain an Intel logo and an iPad (logo not visible but clearly an iPad)...
4
votes
1answer
683 views

Use of Microsoft Trademark in Product Name

I am developing Add-Ins that extend Microsoft Office applications with additional functionality. As such, I am looking for product names to advertise these Add-Ins. Here's a very crude example of ...
3
votes
3answers
858 views

Can I legally make a real mobile app based on a fictional app from a TV show?

There's a fictional mobile app in a Netflix TV show that I'd like to make a real thing. I'm an independent developer, I don't plan on monetizing it in any way, and it's going to be open-source. Is it ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Naming free software and avoiding trademark collision

I have stumbled over a problem how I can safely name my software. I would like to have a name with a cultural reference, that is character names from older literature or folk tales. Now, there is the ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

Is it ever legally beneficial for a third party to use symbols indicating intellectual property (©, ℗, ®, ™, ℠)?

Background This question on Academia SE asks whether one should append a trademark symbol to trademarked software in academical writing, e.g. “Mathematica®”. In the answers and comments (e.g., here, ...
3
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2answers
595 views

Can Polaroid force me to remove my app from the store?

A few years ago, I create a simple app that allowed the user to create fake instant camera photos on their smartphone. A few month ago, I received an email from Polaroid stating that my app had to be ...
3
votes
2answers
465 views

Would creating software that functions in a similar way to existing software be illegal?

If I create software that is similar to other software, would I break the law? I mean not exactly the same, there would be many differences; let's say I'm going to create a blog platform, and there ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Substrings used in a trademark

The Linux Foundation is a registered trademark of The Linux Foundation. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. But Linux is a substring of The Linux Foundation. Is it OK for someone to ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Is it legal for me to buy a book and resell bits and pieces of it (artwork or poems for example)?

For example, I take a poetry book and cut out the poems, frame them, and sell them individually. Or I take a book with Star Wars™ art and cut out the pictures and decoupage a dresser and offer it ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Why register many similar marks?

Many companies apply for multiple registrations for the same term and similar goods and services, is that worthwhile? For example, Starbucks owns dozens of registrations for "Starbucks" both as ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

What does under license mean?

Gitolite says: NOTE: GIT is a trademark of Software Freedom Conservancy and my use of "Gitolite" is under license. What does under license mean here? Does it mean Software Freedom Conservancy ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

How do i refer to a trademark I don't own without infringing on it?

Say, for example, I have created a product which is compatible with a specific existing technology. Like an Apple iPhone case. I would like to tell the user that my new case can be used with their ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Transfer of Ownership of a Trademarked Domain Name

Building upon the question "What is the relation between Trademarks and Domains?": ...if I register a domain when no trademark exists, but then someone registers the trademark... Can that ...
3
votes
1answer
430 views

Could I register a trademark already registered for other classes?

I am thinking about a trading name but it seems that it is a registered trademark in the UK for the following classes: Class 9: Computer software and computer programs for use as web service ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Naming products after fictional objects or characters

We are a small company developing a product we want to name after a character named "Arwen" from "Lord of the rings". The product itself has no connection whatsoever with the actual character, we're ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Sending an Email on behalf of someone else (email spoofing)

Many phishing and spear-phishing operators employ mail spoofing techniques to get their target to open emails, read them and act on them. When acted upon, the phisher either steals something or gets ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

Can I legally recreate public Japanese buildings in a 3D game?

I'm wanting to make a game set in Tokyo, specially Asakusa. I want to loosely recreate some of the streets and buildings to really nail the feeling of being there. Is it legal to recreate buildings ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Referring to trademarked names for profit

I am developing a tycoon type videogame about being a Game Developer. I kind of want to tell the history of the consoles and games through the history mode but I have a couple of doubts regarding ...
3
votes
2answers
182 views

Is it legal to display third-party logos as part of “As featured in” on sites/printed ads without their consent?

More companies have been including media outlets' logos under their site/printed marketing material as part of "As featured in" to provide more social proof. Is it legal to include the logos without ...
3
votes
0answers
100 views

Can I make and sell printable worksheets for board games without infringing on copyright?

I'm hoping to sell printable worksheets online for around $2 dollars each that are designed to reformat the character sheets that came with the base board game. Where I believe I am adding value is ...
3
votes
0answers
46 views

Internet Domains and Trademarks

I have owned a domain in the U.S. for last sixteen years. A foreign entity, who started operations in their country of origin (in Europe), filed a conflicting trademark in their own country in the 70'...