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We are a business selling lighting fixtures. We are wondering

if selling a horse floor...
We are a business selling lighting fixtures. We are wondering if selling a horse floor lamp that is 95% similar to a brand Moooi
http://www.allmodern.com/Moooi-Animal-Furniture-Horse-Floor-Lamp-ULMOLHORSE-B-MOI1031.html

is legal or illegal? Our horse floor lamp looks very like the Moooi horse floor lamp, just some tiny differences. Out floor lamps have no Mooooi brand on them and we won't sell them under Moooi name. We just sell under the name "Modern horse floor lamp". Please let us know if it is legal. If it is illegal, what will happen? thanks
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Answered in 1 hour by:
7/24/2013
montysimmons
montysimmons, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 328
Experience: Electrical Engineer, South Carolina Attorney, Member of US Patent Bar
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You state:

 

"Out floor lamps have no Mooooi brand on them and we won't sell them under Moooi name."

 

So you should not have any Trademark issues or counterfeiting issues.

 

One issue that is always present when selling things relates to patents.

 

If MOOOI has a valid patent on a horse lamp you are selling, you will eventually have a problem and its name will be "patent infringement".

 

I did a quick search on the USPTO patent database and found only one design patent issued to MOOOI and it was not for a Horse Lamp. So it looks OK in the USA.

 

If you sell outside the US then one would need to check for patents in those countries as well.

 

Now if the MOOOI Horse Lamp is considered a work of art, there could be copyright issues.

 

You would need to clearly mark your "Horse" as being manufactured by you and not MOOOI. If your "horse lamp" was inspired by the MOOOI horse lamp, then say so "Inspired by MOOOI".

 

I will do some research on this issue and add more information as I needed. AT the moment I do not see a huge issue.

 

 

montysimmons
montysimmons, Patent Prosecutor
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 328
Experience: Electrical Engineer, South Carolina Attorney, Member of US Patent Bar
Verified
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Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 328
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