Online Marketing Co-ordinator at Fashion Company
06 August 2009 12:31pm
I wonder if anyone can help? I work for an online fashion retailer and we've had a lot of our products in the press recently. I want to send out an email to our subscribers with an 'As seen in Vogue' etc on the products, preferably with the company's logos too... is this legal? I've asked our PR company and they can't give me an answer so any help would be much appreciated! I've been reading up on DMCA and think from this that I can use the company names but not their logo's as this is copyrighted materials... is that right?
Thanks for your help
Solicitor, Managing Director at Winton & Winton Limited
06 August 2009 12:54pm
There are ways that you can use some registered trade marks without infringing the trade mark ownders rights. But, you must, must be careful to avoid trade mark infringement. I do not know exactly what you are planning but here is a bit of English law that may help.
It is infringement to use trade marks "otherwise than in accordance with honest practices in industrial and commercial matters" or take unfair advantage of, or cause detriment to, the distinctive character of the trade mark.
In practice this means that some elements of comparative advertising can come pretty close to the wire. However, it does make it possible to use the trademark to identify the goods is not infringement. In the case of your proposed use, you can use marks where they are to identify the product. Of course the problem might be that if you were to use the word mark that may be sifficient to identify the products and so you would not also need to use the logo too.
I would also take a view on whether the trade mark owners were likely to disapprove of your proposed use. The context could make all the difference, especially if there is any comparative advertising involved, or if you plan to give a negative product review etc.
If you want to have a chat about what you can do and should probably avoid doing, then please do contact me.
06 August 2009 14:15pm
Thanks so much for your reply, it's very helpful. Basically all I want to do is send an email out telling our subscribers of our products that have been featured in the press. So, for example, Here are some of our clothing that have been featured in the press: Then have images of 5/6 products which have been in the press and have 'as seen in Grazia', 'as seen in Vogue' etc. layered on top of the product image.
We were hoping to use the logo's of these press companies, but don't know if this is against copyright/trademark laws? So instead of logos is it ok to use the names of the companies instead?
06 August 2009 14:35pm
There is not going to be a blanket yes/no answer to this I am afraid because of the view that the relevant trade mark holder may take. E.g. Grazia allows use of its trade mark in good faith only see - http://www.graziadaily.co.uk/legal/terms
Have you asked any of the publications about their view on this proposed use?
Would you like to have a quick chat about options - no charge;-) - why don't you give me a ring if you have a sec
10 August 2009 12:49pm
Over the weekend I have an idea about how you could use the trade marks to give your email-shot the most appeal. There is an element of commercial risk involved but if we come at it from a different angle I think we can do this with minimal risk of infringement and I think that it will enable you to understand your position very effectively. We should probably discuss this offline so please do feel free to contact me.
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