T-Shirt Forums banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys I'm sort of new here. :confused:
Was looking around the forums and then I sort of chanced upon a question in my mind. Looked around the forum and it seems like the answers are all quite vague (grey area). Was wondering if someone could enlighten me :). Because I really have a lot of doubts. Thanks loads for taking a look at my thread and answering my question in advance.

Basically my question is that- all around the world, I'm sure people have heard/seen of the t-shirt design "I love(heart shape) NY". But What if someone took the design and changed 1 or 2 letters, and mass produced and sold it for profits. Like example "I love(heart shape) NA" , or "I love(heart shape) GY", With a totally new and different meaning behind it, Would it still be able to get you into trouble if the originator from "I love NY" sued you? :confused::confused: (considering that all the fonts design are similar but only one letter changes)

Also i came across some information telling me that it can be protected through trademark and not copyright(more confused):confused::confused::confused::confused:

Through my reading of the many threads, I found out this. which can be found from U.S. Copyright Office
What Is Not Protected by Copyright?

Several categories of material are generally not eligible for federal copyright protection. These include among others:

  • Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression (for example, choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded, or improvisational speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded)
  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration
  • Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and containing no original authorship (for example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources)
So does this mean that the Change in lettering protects the guy from being sued by the originator of "I love NY"?
please solve this puzzle for me thanks loads :):):)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,679 Posts
Hi Altect. Welcome to the forums. You've got a lot going on here, so I'll do my best to clear some things up.

Basically my question is that- all around the world, I'm sure people have heard/seen of the t-shirt design "I love(heart shape) NY". But What if someone took the design and changed 1 or 2 letters, and mass produced and sold it for profits. Like example "I love(heart shape) NA" , or "I love(heart shape) GY", With a totally new and different meaning behind it, Would it still be able to get you into trouble if the originator from "I love NY" sued you? (considering that all the fonts design are similar but only one letter changes)
Yes, you could still be sued. The "I (heart) NY" design is federally registered as a trademark owned by a department of NY state. To date, they have filed over 3,000 legal objections to a whole bunch of variations of the original. Obviously, there are many knockoffs out there. But most are illegal. I say 'most' because it's possible a judge may find some to be original enough to qualify as a new work or possibly a parody or derivative of the original. But it's impossible for NY state to bring action against all offenders. But they certainly can if they want.

Also i came across some information telling me that it can be protected through trademark and not copyright(more confused)
Trademark and copyright are different forms of intellectual property. Depending on the type of work and its intended use determines which registration a work qualifies for. In this case, because "I (heart) NY" has become a slogan of NY with its own branding and merchandising, it qualifies as a trademark.


  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents
So does this mean that the Change in lettering protects the guy from being sued by the originator of "I love NY"?
The bullet point info states these items cannot be copyrighted. But they can be trademarked. So no, changing lettering does not protect anyone from being sued.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,679 Posts
But however i read and saw that there was still some grey area on whether if its the whole thing "I HEART NY" that is copyrighted or if its anything to do with "I HEART SOMETHING SOMETHING"
Grey area = Whether or not NY state finds out about your product.

Black and white area = If they do find out, they can and will sue.

NY state is notorious for filing lawsuits to protect this mark. Even if what you are doing is legal, they can still sue. Not because they think they will win, but because they believe they can stop you from doing what you're doing by filing the lawsuit. Unless you have the money to fight in court, you can't afford to go ahead with your ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Hi...I love Ny is trademarked, meaning I cannot use this phrase in any way....I love New Jersey is not trademarked, therefore i can use a similar design ( not the exact design) to make my "I love New Jersey" I can make I love my aunt, grandma or any place or person else I wish, using my own font, and my own display.The words " I love" or "i heart shaped symbol" are not trademarked as such and therefore as a copy write idea are subject to anyone changing the font, and graphic heart. However this being said, if the state of New York wants to try and stop somebody from using "I love New Jersey they could spend enough money to protect themselves that you a small guy or gal cannot afford the fight....so my best advice is, if you can't afford to fight a possible lawsuit, and can't possibly make enough profit on a design to do so...then you must the validity of selling the design in the first place.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top