Can i use a trademarked logo on a shirt [Definitive Guide]

Last updated : Aug 5, 2022
Written by : Humberto Kataoka
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Can i use a trademarked logo on a shirt

Can I print a trademarked logo for personal use?

Can I print a copyrighted picture for personal use? You can't legally use someone else's intellectual property without getting permission. Any reproduction of copyrighted material is considered a violation.

What happens if you use a trademarked logo?

Using a registered trademark without permission from the owner can lead to a trademark infringement lawsuit.

How do you avoid copyright infringement with T-shirts?

  1. Check material for its copyright before using it.
  2. Find non-copyrighted materials.
  3. Pay for designs.
  4. Change existing designs to make them your own.
  5. Create your designs from scratch.

Can I put my logo on a Nike shirt and sell it?

No, you may not lawfully affix your company logo to a tee shirt that's already branded by Nike or another sports clothing company and then sell that shirt. That's trademark infringement.

What can I legally put on a shirt?

This is a very sweeping question and the answer will depend on the specific circumstances. But for a safe answer: you can print anything on a t-shirt that is under public domain without infringing copyright laws.

What is fair use of a logo?

Fair use includes using a logo in editorial content, among other situations. You also don't need to ask formal permission from a corporation to use its logo if the usage doesn't create any impressions that the logo endorses or associates with another company. This scenario could result in a company complaint.

Can I change a logo and use it?

If you find yourself wanting to use some or all of a company or organization's logo and you don't own the company or organization, you will need to get a letter with written consent from the registered owner saying that you have their permission to use the logo in question in your design.

How much of a logo can you copy?

It is true that a logo needs to be different than existing logos to be legally used, but the 20 percent rule -- or 25 percent rule, depending on whom you ask -- is little more than a myth.

Can you get sued for making T-shirts?

The worst that can happen when you print a t-shirt with a copyrighted design is that the author files a lawsuit against you. This scenario is possible only if the author registers their work officially with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Can I put a picture of a celebrity on a shirt and sell it?

The short answer is a big NO. Unless you have the authorization, agreement, and contract with rights and limitations in doing so from the celebrity/ his/her management/agent, then you have no legal right to use and especially print and make sales off of a celebrity's image.

How do you know if a shirt is trademarked?

If you see a watermark, then it is copyrighted material, and you should avoid using it. Many owners clearly mention the note of ownership, which you should look around in the content. If you are not sure about a material's copyright, the best way to ensure it is to visit the copyright office.

Can I embroider Nike and sell it?

Any use of the Nike logo without permission would infringe their trademark rights, unless it's a legitimate parody use. The question is just whether their enforcement agency would discover your design, likely on social media. The...

Can you copy a trademark?

By law, you need not request permission to use a trademark belonging to another if it is for an editorial or informational use. Trademark law protects distinctive words, phrases, logos, symbols, slogans, and any other devices used to identify and distinguish products or services in the marketplace.

Can I use a team logo for personal use?

You need permission to use a logo unless it is for editorial or information purposes, such as when a logo is used in a written article or being used as part of a comparative product statement.

Can you put a quote on a shirt and sell it?

In short, if a design is copyrighted, don't go and include it in your Shop. Only the owner of that exclusive design has the authorization to monetize it. This doesn't just go for t-shirt designs; any written, visual, even verbal content, have potential to fall under the copyright law.

Can you use royalty free images on T shirts?

Royalty free photos cannot be used on mug or t-shirt products but can be used on greeting cards, client cards or paper products. If mugs and t-shirts are the preferred promotional product, an extended license can be purchased through the stock photography agency.

Can I print Mickey Mouse on a shirt?

To sum it up, all intellectual property rights on the brands, characters, titles, and other properties of Disney are owned by the Walt Disney Company and its affiliates and cannot be used.

What are the 4 fair use exceptions to copyright?

Fair use of copyrighted works, as stated in US copyright law, “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.”

What happens if you use a trademarked word?

The law allows you to use a trademark without getting the owner's permission for: Informational use: You use it to editorialize or educate about a specific product or service. Comparison use: You use it as part of an accurate comparison between products or services.

Is the Nike swoosh copyrighted?

Nike's shoe technology (Nike AIR) is a patent. The Nike Air bubble is functional and has a scientific purpose. The color of the shoe and design could be a copyright as it is artful in nature. Contrast those with the “Nike” name and logo, and the swoosh on the shoe, as all are trademarks of Nike.

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Can i use a trademarked logo on a shirt

Comment by Gerald Wulfing

hi guys what is up its ed here from me business boss and today I'm coming to you with the second video in the series that we've decided to foremost by Andersen and today we're gonna be talking about something really really fun drumroll please that's right how to avoid trademark and copyright infringement on merch by Amazon now this is something that affects everybody trademarks and copyrights and getting it right so let's jump into it now guys and see what we can learn so guys as I mentioned in the intro today I'm gonna be talking to you about how to avoid t-shirt design and copyright infringement so we're going to be learning today so who do I believe that this video is for may be beginner and intermediate p OD users with copyright and trademark questions what will we be covering so we'll be covering how copyright and trademark laws affect print-on-demand people unsure of copyright and Trademark exceptions tools we use when checking trademarks useful links are checking copyright and trademarks and possible ramifications for breaking the law if you don't follow the rules so to give you a brief introduction of how intellectual property laws affect print-on-demand so intellectual property law is there to protect the rights of the owner this includes copyright trademark and publicity rights these same rules applied for print-on-demand in biting terms if you are thinking of creating and PID product and the design is of a celebrity a sports team a movie a band or a song stay away from it with regards to merge bands and they take a very strict stance when it comes to in sexual property law so your best to stay the right side of it there are many stories of accounts being shut down for exploring these rules if you do decide to copy someone's work make sure you have permission Amazon will want to check it make submitting your own fresh designs very very important you are ultimately responsible for ensuring you hold the rights to using the designs you submit do not copycat copycat designs are exact replicas of a design already on offer on the marketplace again this is a big no-no so are you unsure of intellectual property right exceptions I know definitely we have been in the past and we still are now but we're always willing to learn so one of these is personal use so if you want to design a shirt that only you and nobody else will use and where and you won't be profiting from it that's fine but why would you want to do that when we're trying to build a pou Empire where the original copyright owner has passed away again you'll need to check this if the originals are created before copyright law existed so for example famous quotes or sayings by people like Shakespeare and other famous writers and poets political figures are technically classes being in the public domain a quick search for Trump on Amazon all merchants formal will show you this areas definitely fair game but also lightly saturated fair use so I've written here this is a gray area and it definitely is it's one that I would say well away from there are plenty of niches within p OD merged by amazon that can be used ensure fair uses use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing so non-profit educational or personal use tips the balance in the favor of fair use but again why risk it when there's so many other things you could potentially look at so what the tools that I use when I'm when I'm checking for trademarks so after I've done the product research the next stage is the keyword research and checking for trademarks merchants former does offer a trademark checker button when product researching this takes you free to the trademart website which will bring up any possible trademarks for the product you have you've searched for trademark is also a great website for standalone checking which I use all the time here's a brief glimpse of the trademark is so very simple you want to find trademarks for cats you type in cats quick search and the tool brings back all of these answers with pages and pages of potential trademarks that you'd obviously need to check for you go ahead and do anything motion form also offers an awesome trademark alert tool which you simply key or phrase or keyword into and it will automatically alert you if something becomes trademark this tool definitely saves days of checking so here's the trademarks alert to one or Mershon former simply keying your word cats and save this as simple as that for copyright checking which we don't really need to do so much of a zoo china ensure everything is fresh and original we use the US Copyright Office website as a farm tech before we say may our listings we will hit the merchant forum where am i trade my check button this is a plugin to ensure we haven't missed anything there isn't an exact science behind what will get you banned from work by Mizzou but do you really want to risk finding out here's an example of that merchants former trademark check so for example we were chucking some well no brands here that we know for a fact of course would be trademarked a quick simple click of the button and the results are flashed up and read click the results and all the information on these on these companies and their potential trademarks are shown you click on one of these takes us directly to the USPTO website and it shows us exactly what this brand has been trademarked for so as we can see here full line the sports clothing of course everyone's gonna stay away from Nike but I hit this button every time I submit a listing I might have may have done my checks but if I've missed something it's definitely worth just having a final check just to ensure that I'm not gonna get any rejections when submitting my work too much by Amazon so what the possible ramifications for breaking intellectual property law so what could happen if you break the law if you break the law knowingly or unknowingly there can be repercussions is likely if you are a small PID distributor you probably won't get sued but you will receive a cease and desist letter advising stop selling product and they may request proof of earnings to see how much you profited from your listings merge by Amazon is currently available in the US you came Germany but it is likely to expand across more countries over time trademark and copyright law differs from country to country so ensure you understand the laws of the country you are sending in before uploading anything you've probably also noticed on the bottom of each slide there's a disclaimer so these comments are mine they do not constitute legal advice if you're unsure of anything that I've said please contact a copyright or trademark attorney or lawyer the trademarks we use trademark ear comm for copyright copyright gov and we also use merchant format full of their trademark tools and trademark checkers if you use a boss 20 you'll get 20% of your subscription you'll find the link below we never promote anything that we don't use ourselves the tools will merchants form especially for trademark checking a fantastic and they'll definitely help you along the way thanks for watching guys pl

Thanks for your comment Gerald Wulfing, have a nice day.
- Humberto Kataoka, Staff Member

Comment by enlasisseL

santé nerd buddy boy big Brando and today I want to talk to you guys about what could possibly happen to you if you tried to sell trademark logos now as most of you guys know I did an interview with Nick from a man Customs months ago what ended up happening was we did that on Instagram live and we tried to save the footage but when I was trying to edit it down I was running into a ton of issues because whenever you screen capture something it's recorded at a different frame rate and when I try to put it into Adobe Premiere the frame rate was so messed up that the audio was really slowed down and when I speed the audio well then video speeds up at the same time it was a bunch of headaches for myself so what I did was I reached out to the homie Nick and I said hey is it possible for me to just tell your story through video form I'll post a picture of the homie Nick and me right here and then um that's basically how the interview went down but I wanted to tell his story on what happened to him so like I said months ago I seen the homie Nick on Instagram you can follow him at an end customs but he posted something very interesting that when I seen his story I reached out to him right away and I said hey I need to get you on my channel so you could explain what happened to you so the homie Nick what he has is a Cricut cutter and he has heat press and he was kind of just doing a lot of different things he was making mugs he was doing decals he was making t-shirts he was kind of all over the place but he was putting his Cricut to good use now business was doing pretty good he had an Etsy shop and he was also selling on Facebook marketplace now when we're talking he said that sells would come in you know every now and then it wasn't nothing crazy and it really wasn't booming the way he thought but he still kept grinding and was getting you know a sell here sell there a cup here decals here and he was kind of just moving along at that pace for like the last year so he said he was advertising on Facebook marketplace like check this out I made this Rams t-shirt I made this Dodgers t-shirt and he had a few different sports team logos on t-shirts that he was advertising on Facebook marketplace now he said on his Etsy shop every now and then when he would post something like that Etsy would take it down because of infringing on a registered trademark like let's say the Dodger logo or let's say like a Laker logo or something like that so he would upload it there if she would end up taking it down and telling him you can't sell that kind of stuff so he was putting that stuff up on Facebook marketplace and it would be like here's a Rams t-shirt I just made order through here or here's a Dodger t-shirt that I made you go order through here now just to backpedal a little bit nick said that he was buying these SVG files from somebody on Etsy till somebody on Etsy was selling the trademark logos like our logo or the Laker logo for you know $1 to $5 whatever it is and he was actually buying the SVG file from somebody on Etsy so he thought he was cool because he paid for SVG file of that logo and then he was printing the t-shirts and stuff like that using the same file that he purchased off of Etsy so he has these shirts on the Facebook marketplace and a lady messages him and says I want to buy one or two shirts one with the Laker logo and one with the Rams logo something like that so he knocks out the order and then ends up meeting up with this lady's brother so the lady emails Nick and says you know what my brother's gonna come pick up the shirt from you is that cool Nick was like alright that's cool not a problem so they meet up they do the transaction he hands over the two t-shirts he gets the money everything is all good so he gets back on face book marketplace and he's selling more shirts and he's kind of just moving along and then maybe a week or two later the lady hits him up again but this time she hits him up for like a big order of like 40 t-shirts or something like that and this big 40 t-shirt order is something around like I want 10 Dodger logos on this one I want 10 Rams logos on this one and I want so it's all trademark logo t-shirt but the order was for 40 t-shirts so Nick's thinking oh damn 40 t-shirts this is cool they agree on a price everything's good he knocks a mouth and then when it comes time to deliver the t-shirts the lady says the same thing my brother's gonna come pick up these shirts and meet up at the same spot and do all this now the day that they're supposed to meet up Nick walks downstairs because they're meeting up at his apartment building so he walks downstairs with his kid in one hand t-shirts in the other hand and he's ready to meet up with the girl's brother so the girl's brother comes up Nick's right there with his t-shirts with his baby hands and t-shirts the guy hands the cash and then Nick notices an undercover cop car drive by and pull up right in front so Nick's kind of like you know sketched out but he's thinking like oh man is that for me or is that for you so he jokingly asked the dude is that undercover here for you and the dude just starts to back up and then the cop gets out of the undercover cop car approaches Nick and tells him he's busted for selling trademark logos and infringing on these trademarks so now Nick is kind of confused he's just like oh man what the hell's going on he still has his baby in his hand and the cop is now asking a ton of questions so basically what happened just to kind of stop the story a little bit is this person that Nick was dealing with was he was pretending to be a lady online and then he was saying that the brother was gonna pick up the shirts but he was actually the brother so he's pretending to be the lady then he goes up meets with Nick does the transaction the first one goes smooth so then he orders the bigger one on the back end but this time he brings the police with him to do some sort of like undercover sting operation on the homing Nick now you got to remember that Nate paid for these SVG files so he's under the impression that everything's all good and he's not in trouble because he physically paid somebody on Etsy for those trademark logos and he just thought all right I paid for him and I'm all good so now the cops are there and the cops are questioning him and talking to him and just let him know what's going on so that guy that he was dealing with was a private investigator that a lot of these big companies hire to look on Etsy look on Facebook marketplace and just look all over the internet for people infringing on trademarks so in this case it could have been the MLB NFL NBA Disney whoever hired this dude to look and scour the internet found Nick's page and actually went through with a few transactions and caught Nick red-handed exchanging money for t-shirts or a logo that he had no permission on actually printing and selling for himself now as most of you guys know if you're dealing with any kind of trademark logo you have to license that logo from the owner a lot of times people think oh man I'm just finding this on Google I'm gonna put it up to sell

Thanks enlasisseL your participation is very much appreciated
- Humberto Kataoka

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