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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 30869
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Is Mr. Softees Ice Cream a copyright?

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Is Mr. Softee's Ice Cream a copyright?
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm an Intellectual Property litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

The Mr. Softee name and images are protected by trademarks. Any written information, such as its jingle, would be protected by copyright.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would you be able to use the name of Softee's Ice Cream without infringing on the copy right?

It is very likely that the use of "Softee's Ice Cream" would be considered infringement on Mr. Softee's rights and if the name were used, it's likely that the company would be sued for a permanent injunction and damages.

The standard of whether or not a trademark or copyright is being infringed is to determine if a consumer could mistake one business for the other. So, since the names "Softee's Ice Cream" and "Mr. Softee's Ice Cream" are so similar and since the products being sold are the same, it would likely be considered infringement.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would Mr. Soft Sprinkles Ice Cream, or Soft Sprinkle Ice Cream still be an infringement?

Probably not - - Mr. Softee's doesn't have the exclusive right to using the word "Soft". Your name just can't be close enough to confuse consumers/the general public that your business is Mr. Softee or vice versa.
Roger, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 30869
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is Mr. Coolee's Ice Cream copyrighted or franchised?

Hi - you can search for registered trademarks online here: DANGEROUS URL REMOVED?f=searchss&state=4801:8m5wrd.1.1

I didn't see a registered mark for the name above, or for a variation, but you should check as well.

However, there are common law trademarks - which aren't registered. But, those marks have limited application and only cover the business area of the user. For instance, if you "Google" Mr. Coolee's Ice Cream, there's a business in California. It would have a common law mark for its business area and you could be sued if you went to that area and tried to open up shop. But, as long as there's no business in the area you're going to be working, then a common law trademark from across the country should not affect you because you're not competing against one another.

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