55 votes
Accepted

Why register a logo as trademark if copyright protects it?

Copyrights protect the mark as is, and derivatives of it, but does not protect the brand from look a likes or from new trademarks that would be confusing. Consider the Pepsi logo: I could easily ...
A. K.'s user avatar
  • 2,302
39 votes

Trademark violation for app?

Disclaimer: I'm from the US and don't claim to know German or Turkish law. So let me discuss some general principles here, but details may well be different in Germany and Turkey. You're mixing ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 1,073
31 votes

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

You infringe a trademark when you use it in a way that allows confusion between your goods and services and their goods and services. Trademarks are limited by geography (although global brands are .....
Dale M's user avatar
  • 209k
30 votes

"Mama" is now a trademark word. Does that mean we can't use the word any more (e.g. for Etsy products)?

Trademarks apply only to a limited field. If you follow the link, it reports that it applies to class 42, graphic art design. So you are free to use (and register "mama" for your food ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 5,869
30 votes

"Mama" is now a trademark word. Does that mean we can't use the word any more (e.g. for Etsy products)?

You should be fine. Because, at the least, your use pre-dates the trademark. Exactly this came up in Burger King (of Florida) v. Hoots, and it resulted not only in the predecessor keeping their name, ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Does the app TikTok violate trademark?

As usual with trademarks, the key question is "will reasonable people be confused about the source or affiliations of the product or service". Trademarks are, as you already know, limited to a ...
David Siegel's user avatar
29 votes

Can a ® so small as to be reduced to a dot confer any legal protection?

In united-states trademark law, 15 U.S.C. § 1111 provides that: Notice of registration; display with mark; recovery of profits and damages in infringement suit Notwithstanding the provisions of ...
David Siegel's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to print the Nintendo logo (and trade marks) on retro spare parts?

Marks are to denominate the origin of goods. Nintendo built Gameboys for decades. Some GameBoys have aftermarket parts like the NAKI Action Light, a peripheral never made by Nintendo but was nothing ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 39.4k
27 votes
Accepted

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

The example in the question is a pretty clear case of nominative use. The mark is being used to refer to, or name, the product (or service). It is not being used to sell a similar product, or anything ...
David Siegel's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

Can I use internal components' logo on my product?

You will need to obtain permission from the company whose logo you intend to use before using it. Just because you use a product from that company in your devices doesn't necessarily give you ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 3,486
26 votes
Accepted

Commissioned a logo that contains a stock image, can I still trademark it?

Not only can’t you trademark it, you can’t use it The original logo is covered by copyright which belongs, prima facie, to the original artist. It doesn’t matter that they are based in Russia; Russia ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 209k
24 votes

Why register a logo as trademark if copyright protects it?

So, what's the point to make a logo as a trademark? The general answer is that copyright and trademarks provide different kinds of protection. Speaking very broadly, copyright protects against ...
DPenner1's user avatar
  • 4,931
24 votes
Accepted

Can I name my app using the name of a long defunct company?

The answer is almost assuredly, no, you can't use it. Vidmark was parented as Trimark Holdings which was bought by Lionsgate in 2001. Lionsgate is still very much an active company, and has been ...
Ron Beyer's user avatar
  • 9,215
23 votes

How do trademarks apply to Open Source?

Being or not being open source makes fairly little difference in trademark law. If a commercial firm (Yoyodyne, say) had used the name "Portable Network Graphics" and the abbreviation "...
David Siegel's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Can a wiki for a video game be created without authorization from the game creator?

Yes, such a site can be created without infringing copyright Facts about the game are facts.They are not protected by copyright. Criticism of, and comment about the game, is an activity protected by ...
David Siegel's user avatar
22 votes
Accepted

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

The theoretical is that the domain slutsofinstagram.com does dilute or harm Instagram's mark because of the use of "Instagram" in the domain and because of the unwanted association of the parody story;...
BlueDogRanch's user avatar
  • 18.8k
22 votes
Accepted

Can a photo that contains a trademark be used by a political campaign?

As far as I am aware both these answers are incorrect, but as I am not a lawyer let me quote the World Intellectual Property Organization (part of the UN): Photos of trademarks Unlike copyright law, ...
David Mulder's user avatar
  • 1,210
22 votes
Accepted

Can you trademark a word in a dictionary?

Yes, but... Trademarks generally have a particular class of goods or services they apply to. For a common word such as "sky", a trademark will only be granted for a very narrow set; there's ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 6,369
20 votes
Accepted

Can you sue someone for parodying your character?

Definitions A brand name is not a "character". Neither is a real person, unless that person is being used as a character in a work of fiction. I will answer what I think the question intends....
David Siegel's user avatar
18 votes

Can a photo that contains a trademark be used by a political campaign?

There's nothing in trademark law or copyright law that required the removal of this logo before the campaign could use the photograph. The campaign probably does not want to deal with the possible ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.2k
18 votes

Trademarking modifications to common phrases

Being a common phrase is not a barrier to a trademark, in itself. For example “Bite the bullet” has been trademarked with the USPTO for restaurant services, for a target with cross-hairs and in ...
George White's user avatar
  • 12.6k
17 votes
Accepted

Can my music player app have the same name as a musician band? It's common words

This is a trademark question, not a copyright question. The core ultimate legal question is whether the music app name creates a reasonable probability of confusion, for a typical consumer of the ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k
16 votes

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

I take it that you intend using the logos of the various companies to show that you do business with them? That would be "nominative use" and would be legal even without permission, but it would be ...
David Siegel's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

How can the title "13" be so common?

You cannot copyright a word or name in and of itself, so you can't sue someone for having a novel titled 13 so long as their novel is distinct from your own. Trademarks can use certain words or word ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 23k
15 votes
Accepted

Is Kali Linux's "Undercover" mode legal?

Copyright would generally protect all aspects of the Windows operating system. Therefore, to the extend that Kali is visually similar to Windows, it might be illegal infringement. It would not be ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
14 votes
Accepted

Trademark-application denied due to company name which describes activity

Yes, that's true Common words are not trademarkable, as is a descriptive phrase, because a trademark needs to be distinctive. As the Netherland Trademark Office tells you, your mark can't fit in any ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 39.4k
14 votes

Is buying counterfeit goods illegal?

While the question specifically asks about UK law, similar principles apply in united-states law. Thus I will answer for the same issue in US law. The relevant section of US Federal law is 18 U.S. ...
David Siegel's user avatar
14 votes

I want to send a cease & desist letter, but the infringer has no contact info

Short preface: You might want to consult with a lawyer if what that website does really constitutes trademark infringement. But the question did not ask for that. It asked what to do if you want to ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 7,336
14 votes

Am I allowed to use the word "meta" in the name of my product or startup?

If you do, you will probably be faced with a lawsuit. If the program did something that they don't do, it might be okay (but hire a lawyer to be sure). Perhaps a plumbing app would be safe. They (Meta)...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k

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