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I'm starting a cookie business and wanted to know if i can…

Customer Question
Hi I'm starting a...

Hi I'm starting a cookie business and wanted to know if i can use celebrity and cartoon characters as part of my cookie sets ill provide for sale. My question is more along the lines of if I do make this available how can i make this happen without getting sued, where can i find out if i can use their brand to make cookies available for sale using a celebrity also thanks

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No Im just getting started

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not at this moment.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
1/2/2018
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5,159
Experience: Over 30 years of experience
Verified

Hello,
Thank you for using Just Answer. Please bear with me while I review your question. I will respond fully shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
perfect thanks
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I am working on your answer now. It is a little complicated so please bear with me.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
its ok I can type :)
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Yes. Please ignore the phone call requests. The system sends them not me.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
oh i see
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Hello,

Thank you for your patience and thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

This is a difficult question. It isn't that the answer is unclear. It is that the solution is difficult.

The easy part first. You can not legally use another party's copyright or trademark without permission. If you do and you get sued the costs can be significant. Also there are many "copyright trolls." A copyright troll is a company that searches the internet and other media for the unauthorized use of copyrighted material and trademark material. These people act as go betweens for the owner of the intellectual property and initiate lawsuit and collection processes. These people can be a scourge.

So the quick answer is that you MUST have permission to avoid any possible trouble.

The difficulty is getting the permission because there is no one stop shopping for bakeries as there is for musicians. This means that you have to look up the licensing agent for each character and contact them for permission. The permission is usually granted but there are fees for the license.

See these articles for more information:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/disney-sues-edible-cake-frosting-820032

https://www.olivergrimsley.com/2014/07/30/cake-decorators-dilemma-to-make-or-not-to-make-that-character-cake/

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow-up questions, feel free to ask.

If you ask a follow-up question and I do not respond immediately, it is because I am temporarily unavailable. I promise to respond as soon as I return. Please note that I am often unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response, PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or, if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you, and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
well I already new all this I was wondering where exactly I can get more info or where or how I can get permission.
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Hello:

That is a bit more difficult because it depends on the character. They have to be researched.

For example you can obtain Disney licensing here:

http://www.disneystudiolicensing.com/

If you have specific characters I can show you how to look them up on line. But I can't look up each one for you. It is too time consuming.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i understand that, what about a celebrity?
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

It is similar. You have to google the celebrity name for licensing. for example:

Clint Eastwood Agent:

https://www.contactanycelebrity.com/trial/do/celebrityView?name=Clint-Eastwood&id=3334

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Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

This is not an easy task by any means. I wish I had an easier answer for you, but I would not want to mislead you into having greater difficulties.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
ok thank you for your help.
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Good luck.

Kind regards,

Gerald

(Please do not forget to rate me – click the five stars. It adds nothing additional to your costs, but it helps me greatly. Plus it is good Karma for you. Thank you.)

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
if i wanted to submit a request to a celebrity how would i go about doing so where could i get a contract made?
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Essentially, once you have a contact you would write the celebrity, identify yourself and what you are doing and ask permission to use their image in a cake design. If you can show them a photographic example of your work that would be helpful.

Many will give you permission for free. Many will not respond. Those who want payment will usually send you an agreement.

You can find a sample image release form here (it would need to be modified to meet your needs:

https://www.rocketlawyer.com/document/release-for-use-of-likeness.rl#/

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