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Using trademarked items in a marketing campaign


redstag e2
9 100 14 United Kingdom
3 Jun 2009 9:44AM
Not sure if any of you can help, the company I work for want to use an image of a tree air freshener with changed words and designs on it.
The tree and name magic tree are trademarked, does this mean that even though we are promoting a non competing product that we could be in infringement of a trademark?

I don't expect full legal comments from anyone just wondered if you have any experience?
Jon

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3 Jun 2009 10:19AM
Hi,

Magic Tree could have you on breach of copyright or passing off.
Because the design of the tree/logo is their copyright, by reproducing it in photographic form you are in breach of it.
I've had similar things with Monopoly boards and bank notes (you're supposed to get permission of Bank of England).
To be on the safe side, give Magic Tree a call and explain what you're doing. Most companies I've called for things like this have been fine with it, as long as the finished work doesn't show their product in a bad way.

Hope this helps.
Krakman 8 3.6k Scotland
3 Jun 2009 11:06AM

Quote:To be on the safe side, give Magic Tree a call and explain what you're doing. Most companies I've called for things like this have been fine with it


The company might agree, but you also have to ask the designer of the logo, as they'll be the one who owns copyright in the design itself. Most likely they will want a fee to licence use of the design and might insist on doing the design modification themselves (for another fee).
3 Jun 2009 5:56PM
It's far more than likely Magic Tree have already bought the copyright from whoever designed it or used an in-house designer.
Big companies rarely leave copyright on designs in the ownership of an external source.
redstag e2
9 100 14 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2009 6:30PM
All good advice, thanks
Jon

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