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montysimmons, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 239
Experience:  Electrical Engineer, South Carolina Attorney, Member of US Patent Bar
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I am about to publish a book. I am wondering if it is legal

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I am about to publish a book. I am wondering if it is legal for me to use images that show the trademarked (registered) brands of products. Labels, logos, etc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.

montysimmons :

I will switch to Q&A mode since you are off line

Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hmm, I didn't get an answer from you. I'm online now.

Maybe we can chat?


Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.

I need more information on how the images with trademarks are being used in your book.

Please provide more detail about such images and their use.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The book discusses collecting vintage cigars. The images would range from images of the cigars and their boxes, to the possible inclusion of images of the brand logos.

Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.

Would it be fair to say your book uses images of cigars and shows their logos in an evaluation of such items . . . like a critic might evaluate the work of an author of a book or movie?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes, that is true. In sections where a brand is discussed, I would like to use images to illustrate which brand is being discussed.

Expert:  montysimmons replied 1 year ago.

No problem then.

The key is not to try to use the good will of another (via their trademark) to confuse others and make money for yourself.

For trademarks, just be sure to show the (R) ("R" in a circle) where possible and in text make sure the (R) is there so that you are acknowledging the term/symbol is a registered Mark.

Did you take the images or did you download them?

If you made the images (you took the pictures) there is little risk of copyright issues.

If you downloaded the images and they are the images of another, the risk if copyright issues is greater.

That said, such images might be in the public domain.

If you did not make the images, do you know who did or who owns them or if they recent images of vintage cigars or vintage images of vintage cigars?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I will be selling the book. So my purpose is to make money. Most of the images are photos that I have taken. I have also been provided the logo art by the company that owns them for use in magazine articles. They did not give me explicit permission to use them in a book.


So for the photos, I do not have to worry about getting rights from a photographer, because I am he. My question is just about using their logos that they provided me and also using photos I took of their products that include their logos.

Expert:  replied 1 year ago.

I see. Thanks. Your risk is low. Would be nice to have permission to use in the book but I do not believe you have to have such additional permission under the circumstances.


On legal issues I am a "belt and suspenders" type of person. My opinion is you will have no problems . . . but people can always cause problems even where they have no right.


So the risk is low but not zero.

montysimmons, Patent Prosecutor
Satisfied Customers: 239
Experience: Electrical Engineer, South Carolina Attorney, Member of US Patent Bar
montysimmons and 2 other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Great. Thank you very much.


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