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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On Friday, I'll be interviewing an intellectual property attorney on the topics of trademarks and copyrights specifically for those in the t-shirt industry.

I'm trying to compile a list of questions from those in the t-shirt industry. If you have questions/concerns, please post them here and I'll be sure to ask during the interview.

It's a free interview, absolutely no costs or anything, and I'll will post a link to where you can download and listen to the mp3 file from the call.

This guy knows his stuff, he was listed in the "TOP 25 Trademark Attorneys" (ranked number 9) and he's the guy that'll be answering your questions!

Cartess Ross
 

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I'd like to know if a designer creates a shirt and posts it on his site for sale and someone downloads it recreates it and sells it. Does the original designer have a legal leg to stand on if his design is not TM?. I know we all like to think we do but with out a TM how can a designer prove he is the ORIGINAL creator? Seem pain staking to TM every design but if you must you must.
 

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Hi Cartess.

Thanks for offering to post the interview. This topic comes up pretty often, so I'm sure it will provide some very useful info.

I think the most common trademark/copyright questions that get posted to the forums are about the usage of:
celebrities
pro athletes and pro sports logos
political figures
musicians and bands and their logos
fictional characters from comics, books, tv shows, movies, video games, etc.
tv show or movie logos, titles and quotes
song titles, albums and lyrics
commercial products and logos

Basically, anything that is considered intellectual property.

I know the easy answer to this is that it is illegal to reproduce IP without license or permission. However, a common counter argument is to point out all of the merchandise in the marketplace, especially on t-shirt fulfillment sites, that feature this IP. So I think it would be great to get a professional opinion from an attorney on the subject.

Thanks,
Tim
 

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I would like to know how you can protect the things on your shirts legally. What process do I as a company owner need to go threw to make sure I dont see my designs on 3123123 tshirt sites on the web a week after I release a design. How can I PROTECT MY designs...

I look forward to this interview as well! :)
 

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Pop culture mash ups are all the rage, sometimes containing half dozen or a dozen different references on one shirt. It is extremely common and I would like to know the surrounding legalities of selling images like that. I would be very surprised if the t-shirt printers had license from from all the IP owners (or any, in some cases).

One other question: I would like to know about the legalities and practicalities of defending against companies that claim intellectual property violations even though no trademarks or copyrights have been infringed. For example, using one liners from video games and movies; or spoofs of those one liners.
 

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id actually like to know if it's illegal to remove the tags from your AA, Gilden, or any other companies you've ordered T-shirts from, and replace them with your own tag.

i'm just learning about t-shirts, so this may be a very stupid question, please ignore it if it is.
 

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Don't k now if I'm too late, but:
If I use a slogan in use in ex; an electronics field, but use same slogan as a t-shirt branding with No graphic, font etc to link it to the electronic company... is this ok?
When I worked at a company, their slogan was "Expect the Best". Then I saw a hotel chain use it too and was told since it was completely different fields there was no confusion to the customer and it was ok...
thanks, N
 

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I'd like to know... If I create a t-shirt design with a motorcycle, and the words harley davidson (not using their famous bar and shield trademark), if I'm violating their trademark(s)... if so, why? I guess the same would go for a picture of a bug, and volkswagen...
Thanks!
 

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I'd like to know... If I create a t-shirt design with a motorcycle, and the words harley davidson (not using their famous bar and shield trademark), if I'm violating their trademark(s)... if so, why? I guess the same would go for a picture of a bug, and volkswagen...
Thanks!
:welcome:We're glad to have you aboard!

To answer your question...yes it is infringement of IP, in this case the picture of a Harley (not the actual picture but the motorcycle itself) and the name Harley Davidson are both trademarks, both Harley Davidson and Volkswagen are very aggressive in pursuing people who try to capitalize on their names without paying them for licensing.....and both are very particular about their licensing as to what your going to do, basically both require you to submit the artwork for each design to be approved.

The gray area for me comes if I own a motorcycle and I want to put a picture of my bike on a shirt for me to wear, no sales involved, technically that's still infringement in the eyes of HD even if I don't use their name....just doesn't seem right does it? would I get in trouble, probably not, could I....sure.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The interview is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. eastern. My plan is to have it available tomorrow, that'll give me time to get everything edited and cleaned up.

If you all are interested in other types of interviews, feel free to post what you'd like to learn about and I'll get an expert to share the details via an interview!

Cartess
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update: The interview went great! Nearly 1 hour of solid stuff... One of my guys is editing the interview and said he should have it complete no later than 3 p.m. eastern today, at which time I"ll come back and post a link so you all can download the mp3 and listen to the entire interview -- no costs or fees, it's free!

Right before the interview, I discovered this guy use to review trademark applications as an Attorney for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. So you're getting feedback from a guy who use to be on the 'inside'.

Cartess
 
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