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Yes, another Trademark question....(sorry)

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by CES020, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    If something is Trademarked, I understand you can't use it in certain ways. Let's say that Nike has a golf event and they call it "The Nike Golf Event".

    I'm sure I can't make things that say "The Nike Golf Event", but when if someone wants something along the lines of this :

    "1st Place
    Joe Doe
    in The Nike Golf Event"

    Can you put a "TM" symbol next to the "The Nike Golf Event" and do that, or is it completely off limits no matter how it's used?

    I know I can't do something like this :

    "The Nike Golf Event
    1st Place
    Joe Doe"

    I had a customer ask me about something like this and I immediately said we couldn't do it, but after thinking about it, I'm not convinced.

    Anyone know how that works? What can or can't you do with something that is trademarked. I know you can't use it to promote, but can you use it in a sentence like I listed in the first example?

    My gut tells me no, but I wanted to check with those that are more educated in Trademarks than me (most everyone).
  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    I'm not sure, but I believe it's a matter of semantics.... or believe it or not.... the study of significs.

    If you copy their logo or use it how you have it here.... you could be treading on toes, but if you simply say.... Joe Doe, the winner of the The Nike Golf Event took first place... you can't get in trouble for stating a sentence where the same words show up in a sentence.
  3. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Yeah, that's what got me thinking about it.
  4. ova

    ova Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Wheeling, WV
    If Nike is the sponsor of the event, which seems like it is in this example, you should be able to use it however you want.

    Looks like you are making the awards for this event. We do it all the time.

    The event organizers get permission from said company to use their name in whatever fashion will promote the event. In turn, they give you the OK to use the name to make signage, awards, apparral, etc. to promote the event.

  5. oldgoatroper

    oldgoatroper Roper of Goats. Old ones.

    Jul 28, 2009
    A trademark does not automatically limit the use of a mark -- what it does is it gives the owner of the trademark the rights to limit the trademark's use.

    In almost every case, the trademark owners will not limit the use of their trademark if the use promotes their cause/business/event/product/whatever.

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