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rvlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 8386
Experience:  NYC Trial Attorney 30+ years; Law professor ; BUSINESS LAW; CONTRACTS; TORTS; Arbitrator
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My daughter used to work for a local company and did all ...

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My daughter used to work for a local company and did all their marketing. She has since left that company but two of their offices still pay her to do their promotional materials/gifts. They have over 700 offices all over the US. She is starting a company to market these items. Her two offices are aware of this. Her initial target audience will be the other 698 offices of this company. We are developing a web site now with the products. Our question is this.....can we show a product on the website with a tag that has this company name and logo that we are promoting the product to? We don't want to do anything that infringes on their copyright but I get mail all the time that has my business name on a promotional product (pens, magnets ect.) soliciting my business. So, we just didn't know what the legal ramifications would be. Can you help us?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  rvlaw replied 8 years ago.


Please clarify. Your daughter wants to put products of X company on a website targeted to sell her services to other offices of X company?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to rvlaw's Post: Sorry, I didn't make that very clear. She makes items for two local offices of X company to help them sell their services. For example - a stress pack with information on how X company can reduce caregiver stress, or a pill bottle with candy in it that sells the medication reminder service. She would like to show these types of items on a website to the other 698 offices of X company and sell to them as well to promote their offices.
Expert:  rvlaw replied 8 years ago.

She would need the permission of home office of X to put any of their products on the website even though she feels she would be helping them with the free publicity.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to rvlaw's Post: They are products she has developed on her own - they are not things that X company sells but things she has created to promote X company. Does that matter?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Also, each of the companies are franchises of the main x company and each is independently owned.
Expert:  rvlaw replied 8 years ago.

It doesn't matter I'm afraid. You simply cannot use trademarked products without permission.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to rvlaw's Post: Ok, I guess she will have to leave the logo and company name off of the product. For example a "stress pack" that contains a stress ball, candy, camomile tea and cocoa and a label that says....."Call our "Your company name here" to let us help you reduce your caregiver stress". X company would potentially purchase that to hand out to prospective clients. She had developed marketing text to go around a product for example - Don't go home alone. Let us help you with hospital discharge services. We are available 24/ long as she develops the text and does not include a logo or a company name I don't see how they could have an issue.
Expert:  rvlaw replied 8 years ago.

It's not just logo....the packaging may be recognizable. You are asking for a lawsuit here if you proceed without permission. I cannot make it any clearer. Proceed at your own risk.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
OK, I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm just trying to understand. I get what you are saying very strongly. I still don't understand why what she is doing (minus the company name/logo) would be any different than any promotional web site that has items used for marketing tools. I've been on hundreds of them in researching for this and they do the same thing. For example there are real estate type of promotional web sites that sell items to help realtors sell their services. They don't use a particular company name but sell things like little house key chains ect. that relate to the real estate industry just as she would be doing in the health care industry.

You have definitely convinced me we can't use the logo or company name or anything that is particular to X company without permission from the office that is purchasing the product.

My husband and I had a small company and we got promotional advertisements in the mail all the time with products for sale and they had our company name on them in the advertisement promoting pens, note pads or key chains etc. Are you saying we could have gone after them with lawsuits for using our company name in the advertisement???
Expert:  rvlaw replied 8 years ago.

You could have sued if you felt that you suffered any damages as a result or if you felt that in some way the recognition factor of your product was in some way diluted....WITH OR WITHOUT THE LOGO.


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