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Discussion Starter #1
I've been trying to get ready to start a marketing campaign and wanted to know if anyond knew of the legality of just printing a sample of the potential client's logo to give them as a sample. Would I get into copyright issues as long as it is just a sample for them?

Just don't want to do this and then get sued. Anyone else do this or should I contact them to get permission to print a sample for them?

Thanks
Craig
 

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I've been trying to get ready to start a marketing campaign and wanted to know if anyond knew of the legality of just printing a sample of the potential client's logo to give them as a sample. Would I get into copyright issues as long as it is just a sample for them?

Just don't want to do this and then get sued. Anyone else do this or should I contact them to get permission to print a sample for them?

Thanks
Craig
Actually I think it is a good idea. Be sure to explain that is just as a sample for them to show what you can do.
 

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I'm not a lawyer, but I play one on TV. If you make a one off to send them as a sample, I don't think the would mind, It could be costly if you don't find out if there even interested if sending to a lot of company's.
John
 

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I totally agree with Jasonda here, it could be risky without permission as they may wonder how many you printed. I would call and just ask them if it is ok and explain the reason you want to print a sample is so that you can send it to them to show them how great your work is. That way you dont have to wonder if it can get you into trouble.
 
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Agree with the above caution. The other thing is, you may want to pick the clients carefully. If they're large businesses (even small local franchises of large businesses) they may get their merchandise done by corporate and not be authorised to get anything produced themselves. So sending a sample in that particular case would be a waste of money.
 

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I think maybe sending them a invitation to get a logo sewn or designed may be the way to go. You would not be out near as much money and would have their permission if they contacted you. .... JB
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks to all who have responded!

I should have mentioned that I wasn't going to just send each company a free sample. Just the ones who would at least give me an interview to showcase my products. Just didn't want to show up without samples.

I will ask before I just print. Just wondered what everyone else thought or if anyone else has done this and gotten in trouble.

Thanks again guys. Gotta love this place!!!

Craig
 

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Hi Craig. I get frequently get samples from businesses with my name on it. Usually things like pens and coasters. It generally doesn't bother me. However, even though it's a totally personal perspective, I wouldn't be too happy if someone had used my logo without my permission, in whatever context. For me, that would be 'crossing over the line'.

What may be more feasible, is to send someone a printed template with an overlay of their logo on it, stating that this is what their logo could look like, on the products you could supply to them. In that context you haven't created an actual product, so potential clients are much less likely to get offended.
 

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Agree with the above caution. The other thing is, you may want to pick the clients carefully. If they're large businesses (even small local franchises of large businesses) they may get their merchandise done by corporate and not be authorised to get anything produced themselves. So sending a sample in that particular case would be a waste of money.

I had a recent experience in which someone asked me to lift Rita's logo off the net and put it on something this person produced (their family owns a plastics company) and he wanted to market this item to the Rita's in town. He wanted a sample to show, fully customized.

Since I was recently asked to participate in something similar, I can tell you what my reaction was: I told him I couldn't do this unless he first received permission from the owner's of Rita's for me to print anything with that logo.

Second, I advised him the same thing that Solmu mentions here, if it's a franchise, likely they can't buy outside of the franchise merchandise anyway.

I would not want to take a chance of starting off on the wrong foot with a prospect by presuming they will appreciate the idea of using the logo without prior consent. It may be a surprise to them to see their logo already in use by you.

Showing samples with other company names is totally acceptable and expected, I think. They already know what their logo looks like, so seeing your quality of work is more important at that point, and respect is the name of the game.

Good luck to you in whatever you decide to do. :)
 

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Permission, fermission. Whatever. Caution? Throw it out the window! This is hyper-marketing sales baby!

You got it! A tremendous idea and strategy. However, you should take them a sample drawing on paper first before designing and creating a full fledge bonafide t-shirt. This is only because it will save you cash in the long run.

I did this myself just recently and have trained others on my team to do the same. They all said, 'Oh no, people will get mad if you use their logo without permission.' Whatever!

You would be impressed with how many business owners said, 'Damn, I always thought about putting our logo on a t-shirt but never really knew what it would look like.'

Well, now they do. Boom... sales. Whatever it takes...
 

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I'll preface this by saying I'm new in this business but at my age I have worked with many busnesses. If you call for permission, who is authorized to give it and how much of the company's time will you take up seeking permission? You may very well get a NO and lose a sale and lose a potential client at the same time. I've always lived by "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission" and it has served me well. We have only been doing Sublimation for 8 months but all companies have been flattered that we took the time to copy their logo. This is not legal advise but you are not selling it and it is a sample going to them how illegal could it be and which company has the time to worry about 1 free T shirt. I would stick with your plan.
 

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Regardless of how many people *do* take the chance and profit, *do* take the chance and don't end up with reprecussions for it, that does not answer the question as to if it is legal or not. For that, consult a lawyer. ;):) Sorry, but that is the only way to answer your question.

No matter how many people raise their hand to say "Yes, I do this and nothing happened." , it doesn't mean it is right or allowed, and your question was not "Did you consult a lawyer before you did this, or do you just take a gamble?"

All it takes is for one litigious minded business owner to be offended and nervous by what you did to take action and cost you alot of money. You'll have to pay to defend yourself whether you win or lose. Which is cheaper - the consultation or a full blown defense?

If you do not know it is a clearly legal, or clearly illegal, it is a gamble, and potential for financial risk to you. Just my 2 cents, which is lately worth 1 cent! :D
 

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I think this is a strange one where it is illegal (it's trademark infringement) and yet not really punishable. They can't sue you, because there's nothing to sue you about. They can try and sue you (not that they would, who could have that much spare time and money on their hands?), but it would get thrown out pretty quickly. One sample, given directly to the company... it'd be pretty hard to claim any kind of confusion or financial damages since no member of the general public ever saw it. Ever. Emotional damages for seeing your logo rendered in t-shirt form maybe? Hmm. But as usual, talk to a lawyer if you want anything official.
 
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