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Old 01-23-2010, 11:30
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Default quick question about trademarks....

I have a question for all you that know about trademark infringement. Lets say I wanted to make a bow with a bottle cap on it that says "I love the Jonas Brothers!" I'm not using any registered trademarks, just the name "Jonas Brothers". Am I breaking any laws?
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:37
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Default Re: quick question about trademarks....

Is their name a registered trademark? If yes, then you probably can't use it. But only a copyright lawyer can give you an answer for sure. I know in photography there are plenty of stupid copyright, trademark, etc. type of laws. You know those car air freshners in the shape of a pine tree? You can't use that shape for your design without their permission. When I found that out, I was like, "You gotta be kidding! Maybe I should put a trademark on a circle shape, I'd be rich!"
Anybody else knows for sure?
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:41
mytwogirls's Avatar
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Default Re: quick question about trademarks....

I'm not sure how it all works. Do you think you could get around by replacing the "O" in Jonas with a heart instead? Just a thought.
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:04
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Default Re: quick question about trademarks....

...Oh, wow. I didint know that. I just assumed a onesie is a onesie. Never knew that it was a trademarked name.huh.


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Originally Posted by quinnponders View Post
Take "onesie" for example. Gerber owns the trademark for that. They went after sellers on Etsy who used the term in their listings.

Last edited by Calimama; 01-23-2010 at 04:05. Reason: bad spelling
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:29
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Default Re: quick question about trademarks....

Well, actually the bottle cap says I love JB (jonas brothers) so I'm pretty sure the bottlecap is okay because I"m not using their name, but when I listed it on etsy I wanted to put something about the Jonas Brothers in the title so when people did a search it would come up, but maybe I'll just put "I love JB" in the title to be safe. Would you guys even list this? It's seriously just a pink and black bow with a bottle cap that says I love JB. I bought it before I learned about all this copyright infringement stuff, but I still wanna use it and I don't know anyone who likes jonas brothers? You think this is safe to list or should I forget it?
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:19
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Default Re: quick question about trademarks....

Quote:
Originally Posted by thespotteddot View Post
Well, actually the bottle cap says I love JB (jonas brothers) so I'm pretty sure the bottlecap is okay because I"m not using their name, but when I listed it on etsy I wanted to put something about the Jonas Brothers in the title so when people did a search it would come up, but maybe I'll just put "I love JB" in the title to be safe. Would you guys even list this? It's seriously just a pink and black bow with a bottle cap that says I love JB. I bought it before I learned about all this copyright infringement stuff, but I still wanna use it and I don't know anyone who likes jonas brothers? You think this is safe to list or should I forget it?
It really depends if you want to take a risk. I've seen plenty of stuff on etsy that even says "Jonas Brothers", not just "JB". Do a search on etsy for "Jonas Brothers" and you'll be amaized. Reality is there is a very slim chance somebody would want to sue you (unless you are very rich), it makes no sence for them to waist their time and money to collect a few dollars from you. I wonder if selling it on e-bay would be any different?
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:32
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Default Re: quick question about trademarks....

I wouldnt mention Jonas Brothers. There seems to be waves when etsy cracks down on people. You never know when it will happen.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:19
lestissusbows
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Default Re: quick question about trademarks....

I can speak from both sides of the coin...as someone who got "busted" and also as a trademark/copyright holder on a name for one of my products.

Long story short: I used to have a name on ebay and etsy that resembled a dr. seuss character, I had been in business 4 years, legally registered in my state with that name doing business as etc. Dr. Seuss's widow "found me" on the internet, and their lawyers sent me a cease and desist order. I had to IMMEDIATELY stop selling under my name, even though it wasn't exactly the name, it was inferring that I was associated with their trademark/patents/copyrights. (I know this because my bro is also my lawyer). It was like starting over again, I had to delete my website, leave all my feedback on ebay & etsy behind etc. It was a nightmare. Even though I spelled the name differently, it didn't matter. That is why I always recommend that people do patent/trademark searches, google searches, ebay & etsy searches BEFORE they create an id. I'm not an expert, I just know they wanted to sue the pants off me if I didn't change everything. It totally s*cked! In my experience, it depends on who you are dealing with, Dr. Seuss & co. are KNOWN for being HEAVY and HARD on people for infringement, although I see many people still copying their characters, I guess I was just unlucky to pop up on their radar & get nailed in a big way.
Taggie blankets were like this a while back too...I don't know about jonas bros or their reputation, like someone else said, it's all about if you want to take the risk.

On the other hand, I hold a trademark on the name "Raggie bow" and when I sell my instructions, I ask people not to use that name to describe their bows. I know I don't own the idea exclusively, but I do own the name, and I want people to know when they see "Raggie bow" they're getting one from me. (does that make sense?) it's like I want them to know the quality is going to be a certain caliber. Some people have used the name and I've had to have my lawyer (brother) contact them and ask them to stop. (not making the bows, but just using the name). People probably hate me for it, but I ask nice first and if they give me attitude back, then I pull out the big guns. LOL It's worth it to me to protect the quality of my products.

I know this doesn't specifically answer your question about how to word your listing, I'm sorry, that's a decision you have to make, I just wanted to share my experience on both sides of it. I'm not judging, or anything at all, because I've been there, girl!

Best of luck to you,

and sorry this is such a wordy reply!! LOL!!
I'm sure your bow is very cute & will sell lots & lots

Heather
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:06
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Default Re: quick question about trademarks....

I am glad you weighed in on this. I think people get annoyed with trademarks and see it as a big mean business cracking down on the little guy, but they are just protecting their intellectual property, their reputation, and their profits.
Those who get annoyed with trademarks, think about this way. What if someone set up shop with the same business name as you and started selling subpar merchandise. It would hurt your sales and reputation and you would, rightfully, get annoyed. This is the same situation with disney, twilight, etc. They want to protect their name and reputation so that means they dont want unauthorized products in the market place.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lestissusbows View Post
I can speak from both sides of the coin...as someone who got "busted" and also as a trademark/copyright holder on a name for one of my products.

Long story short: I used to have a name on ebay and etsy that resembled a dr. seuss character, I had been in business 4 years, legally registered in my state with that name doing business as etc. Dr. Seuss's widow "found me" on the internet, and their lawyers sent me a cease and desist order. I had to IMMEDIATELY stop selling under my name, even though it wasn't exactly the name, it was inferring that I was associated with their trademark/patents/copyrights. (I know this because my bro is also my lawyer). It was like starting over again, I had to delete my website, leave all my feedback on ebay & etsy behind etc. It was a nightmare. Even though I spelled the name differently, it didn't matter. That is why I always recommend that people do patent/trademark searches, google searches, ebay & etsy searches BEFORE they create an id. I'm not an expert, I just know they wanted to sue the pants off me if I didn't change everything. It totally s*cked! In my experience, it depends on who you are dealing with, Dr. Seuss & co. are KNOWN for being HEAVY and HARD on people for infringement, although I see many people still copying their characters, I guess I was just unlucky to pop up on their radar & get nailed in a big way.
Taggie blankets were like this a while back too...I don't know about jonas bros or their reputation, like someone else said, it's all about if you want to take the risk.

On the other hand, I hold a trademark on the name "Raggie bow" and when I sell my instructions, I ask people not to use that name to describe their bows. I know I don't own the idea exclusively, but I do own the name, and I want people to know when they see "Raggie bow" they're getting one from me. (does that make sense?) it's like I want them to know the quality is going to be a certain caliber. Some people have used the name and I've had to have my lawyer (brother) contact them and ask them to stop. (not making the bows, but just using the name). People probably hate me for it, but I ask nice first and if they give me attitude back, then I pull out the big guns. LOL It's worth it to me to protect the quality of my products.

I know this doesn't specifically answer your question about how to word your listing, I'm sorry, that's a decision you have to make, I just wanted to share my experience on both sides of it. I'm not judging, or anything at all, because I've been there, girl!

Best of luck to you,

and sorry this is such a wordy reply!! LOL!!
I'm sure your bow is very cute & will sell lots & lots

Heather
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:25
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Default Re: quick question about trademarks....

Listen to Ms. Raggie bow, she knows her stuff!!!

I agree with the above people! I personally don't think you would get in trouble if it isn't their logo and doesn't say Jonas Brothers (I mean it could stand for I love Jim Beam-LOL!). I saw someone on ebay who stated they got around it by stating they were selling only the bow and the bottlecap was a gift??!! I don't know if it would hold up but I don't really think they would come after you unless you were selling a bunch of stuff. I would sell these off and don't list anymore.

I understand the companies, but again, I think it stinks when you are buying their bottlecaps, their ribbons, their fabric which they make money off of but you can't use it to sell your items. I mean, if I make dresses and I bought JB fabric and made a dress I can get in trouble unless its a gift. That, I think stinks!
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