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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3152
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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We make desk top size ( 16") personalized mile makers. These

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We make desk top size ( 16") personalized mile makers. These are similiar to what you might have seen on M.A.S.H. or at island themed restaurants, etc; a post with mile marker signs indicating places with mileage on them, except these are small, desk top versions.

We are now making these for cities/towns as a souvenir that visitors can purchase of popular/memorable places ie: beaches, parks, etc... that are highlighted on these desk top mile markers.
We would also like to put well known restaurants / bars on these too, as this is a popular destination for many people.
My question is: Do we need permission from these restaurants/bars to put their name on these mile markers?

It is likely that the restaurants/bars you are thinking about have trademarked their names and/or their logos. This being the case it would be wise to seek their permission before using their name or logo to avoid the possibility of a federal trademark infringement lawsuit. Now, trademarks are applied to specific classes of goods and services. So a restaurant will classify their trademark in the food service category of trademarks. Since you are making souvenir signs it would not be in the same classification of food service, and thus you can claim there is no real infringement. However, many companies will apply for a trademark in multiple categories of goods. So a restaurant may apply for a trademark in the categories of food, t-shirts, mugs, souvenirs etc. So to be safe it would always be wise seek permission.

In addition to federal trademark law, under state law it is considered a tort (civil wrong) to use or appropriate the name of another business for commercial advantage. And this is what you would be doing. You would be profiting from the use of the name of another business. So, you could possibly be facing the risk of state law claims of misappropriation of a business name.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that you should seek permission before using another business' name.

Thomas Swartz and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would this also include landmark places such as museums?

Yes it would. If it is a public museum you won't have a problem. But if it is a privately operated museum it is best to ask permission.