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Shurmust
Shurmust, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience:  I have completed over 30 criminal jury trials in the last three years and teach Business Law part-time for a state college.
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I have a patented product that would be enhanced by the use

Resolved Question:

I have a patented product that would be enhanced by the use of University logos, NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, and NHL team logos. Decals for the above are available in many places. If I sold my product and included a "free" decal that the consumer could affix themselves, would that cause me legal issues ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Shurmust replied 2 years ago.

Shurmust :

I would be happy to help you with the above question. It sounds like you have quite the entrepreneurial spirit. I just have one question, if you are giving it away for "free" how does your company profit?

Shurmust :

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is the associations you named require licensing agreements for anyone, regardless of your intent.

Shurmust :

You need to have their express permission to market any product with their logo's on it pursuant to the Lanham Act and your State's Unfair Trade Practices.

Shurmust :

Thoese sports leagues, because they are so frequently used without permission, will likely send you a cease and desist letter if they believe you are using their logos without their express permission. If they really want, they can attempt to fine or sue you for your failure to get permission.

Customer:

For clarification, these logo decals are readily available for purchase by the consuming public. I would provide this decal if desired by the consumer of my product. It would still be highly profitable. The decal would not be affixed to my product by me, but by the consumer.

Shurmust :

When you say "readily available" are suggesting that they were lawfully purchased by the licensor? Where are you getting the decal from? It would seem to me as long as you are not in the business of selling the decal, but soley providing a product whereby a consumer can attach the decal to your product without any advice from (meaning you should not directly or indirectly) the consumer from affixing the decal to the product you should be fine.

Shurmust :

I have no idea what your product is, but here is how I see it. Say I want to sell baseball hats that are blank. There is absolutely nothing on them. That is totally legal. However, once a consumer leaves my store and purchases say a Minnesota Twins logo and affixes it to the hat that I have sold them, it is the consumer that is likely violating the Lanham Act.

Shurmust :

However, if you sell both, next to one another or side-by-side, there is certainly an argument that you are indirectly involved or enticing a consumer to engage break current trademark/licensee laws.

Shurmust :

Does this make sense? Please correct me if my hypothetical is akin to what you wish to do?

Shurmust, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience: I have completed over 30 criminal jury trials in the last three years and teach Business Law part-time for a state college.
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I have completed over 30 criminal jury trials in the last three years and teach Business Law part-time for a state college.