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Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
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American Girl (and doll names, such as Felicity) are registered

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American Girl (and doll names, such as Felicity) are registered trademarks of American Girl LLC. Mattel Toys markets the products and bought the Pleasant Company, which launched the American Girl brand.

I taught "American Girl Historic Doll Camp" for little girls aged 8 to 10, and charged the families $250/week/girl. I want to write a blog about what we did in this educational experience. May I use the trademarked names, American Girl and the doll names in the title and contents of my blog if I refer to them with "r with a circle around it" and acknowledge the registered trademarks on my blog? I don't know whether the names being registered means I can't use them, or that I need to acknowledge the ownership.

I may put videos about the copyrighted American Girl doll stories on my blog, and I might charge for downloading these videos, so I would be "riding on the name" this brand has established. I will also be showing the products of American Girl in the videos. The little girl arranged toys to go with each book, and told the stories; they created crafts, made snacks, danced and played with the dolls. There is educational value in what they did, but I plan to profit from selling videos about "AG Historic Doll Camp" if this can be done legally. Thank you.
The key here is to not use the "American Doll" mark in the trademark context, but rather, to simply describe your goods or services. also, you cannot use the mark in a way that causes consumer confusion i.e. people thinking that you are affiliated with American girl or that your products/services are sponsored by or created by American Girl. there are instances of Fair Use where you can reference a registered mark to the extent necessary to describe your goods/services. for more info on TM law see (in particular see the 2nd link re Fair Use of TM)
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It sounds like it would help if I say on my blog or in communications that I am not affiliated with American Girl (AG), and my products are not sponsored by or created by AG. Is that correct?

I don't know what a "trademark context" is, but I haven't read the link on TM law yet--going now.
yes, providing a disclaimer that states you are not affiliated with them is a good idea....and is commonly done
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The link and your answer were helpful, thanks. I want to act both fairly and legally in this matter, and I still don't quite understand this:

American Girl Dolls are very well known, specific dolls that are almost universally known by young girls. I am using these specific dolls to teach with, so it's an advantage to identify them (girls want to come to "doll camp" because we are using these dolls, specifically). In that case is "American Girl Doll" a descriptive term, or is it identifying the user's goods? I think the latter, which wouldn't be fair--I'm riding on the AG brand to get business. But I couldn't identify what I'm offering without naming the dolls, so maybe that's fair?

From the link you sent"
"Legal doctrine defines fair use of a trademark as the "reasonable and good faith use of a descriptive term that is another's trademark to describe rather than to identify the user's goods, services or business"
yes, nominative fair use doctrine allows you to reference trademarks in order to describe your goods, but in such situations one has to use the mark only to the extent necessary to describe, and not use it to directly promote (sometimes those two get mixed and its hard to figure out where you stand) On the one hand you want to describe your goods/services and thats okay, but the nature of your business is based on those dolls, and that may in itself be a confusion the end of the day its the consumer confusion factor that will be the key issue.
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