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I am wanting to print t-shirts that say "I hate the Patriots" Is this legal to do without violating nfl copyrights by saying patriots? Also does anyone know of a way to find expired copyright logo's. Such as finding a patriots logo that is old enough that it isnt copyrighted anymore. Where could I find this information or does anyone know. I have gone through the copyright website and i cant tell which logos are copyrighted and not! THanks!
 

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I am wanting to print t-shirts that say "I hate the Patriots" Is this legal to do without violating nfl copyrights by saying patriots? Also does anyone know of a way to find expired copyright logo's. Such as finding a patriots logo that is old enough that it isnt copyrighted anymore. Where could I find this information or does anyone know. I have gone through the copyright website and i cant tell which logos are copyrighted and not! THanks!

Just the line "I Hate The Patriots" would probably not be infringement (but I'm just guessing), there might be other ramifications of wearing the shirt in certain areas though. LOL! The use of the logo would be infringement as I'm sure you already know.

Our resident expert (Tim) will be along shortly to answer your questions....Oh Tim! :)
 

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4 months ago when i joined I asked similar question....Now I just chuckle, and yes, Tim will set you straight!
You may not get many more responses once Kimura (Tim) responds. Its like the "mighty Oz has spoken" and not much else needs saying!
But my guess is if you do ANYTHING with red, white, blue, fonts or makes the person EVEN think you are referring to the N.E. Pats - you're done! But I'll leave it others..
There are alot of good discussions to read in this site for you tho.
 

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Thanks for the intro, Jon and Nancy. I guess the pressure is on, so here it goes:

The issue here isn't so much copyright as it is federally registered trademarks that are officially licensed by the NFL. There is a bit of gray area in that there are several pro, minor and college teams that use the name Patriots. So it's possible you get away with it. But then again, any one of them would have the legal right to sue. Obviously, the big one is the NFL, they own the intellectual property and licensing rights to all NFL teams logos. And they aggressively pursue infringement against their marks. Usage of the Patriots logo would certainly be worse, but even usage of the word Patriots would be enough for you to get a cease and desist letter.

To be able to legally use NFL team marks, you would need to officially licensed. Last I checked, they are not accepting new applications for apparel licensees. And even if they were, it costs $100,000 is yearly dues plus royalties based on sales. It generally takes major production and distribution capabilities to get a license.

Unlike copyrights, trademarks do not expire. So usage of older logos would still require license or permission, because they are still intellectual property of the NFL. Major brands like Retro Sport and Mitchell & Ness specifically design, produce and distribute apparel featuring vintage and retro logos, so it's unlikely that a license would be any easier or cheaper to get than current logos.

Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks for the intro, Jon and Nancy. I guess the pressure is on, so here it goes:

The issue here isn't so much copyright as it is federally registered trademarks that are officially licensed by the NFL. There is a bit of gray area in that there are several pro, minor and college teams that use the name Patriots. So it's possible you get away with it. But then again, any one of them would have the legal right to sue. Obviously, the big one is the NFL, they own the intellectual property and licensing rights to all NFL teams logos. And they aggressively pursue infringement against their marks. Usage of the Patriots logo would certainly be worse, but even usage of the word Patriots would be enough for you to get a cease and desist letter.

To be able to legally use NFL team marks, you would need to officially licensed. Last I checked, they are not accepting new applications for apparel licensees. And even if they were, it costs $100,000 is yearly dues plus royalties based on sales. It generally takes major production and distribution capabilities to get a license.

Unlike copyrights, trademarks do not expire. So usage of older logos would still require license or permission, because they are still intellectual property of the NFL. Major brands like Retro Sport and Mitchell & Ness specifically design, produce and distribute apparel featuring vintage and retro logos, so it's unlikely that a license would be any easier or cheaper to get than current logos.

Hope this helps.
Thanks this helps a lot. So you would probably recomend avoiding using "patriots" at all? Do you know if pictures of nfl players or names are protected as well?
 

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Usage of player images and names would be infringement as well. The league owns copyrights to the images, trademarks on uniform and helmet logos and the licensing rights to the players.

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