Monday, September 3, 2012

Trademark Infringement - A Follow-Up

Thank you to Kelli of Accessories by Kelli for today's post.

Today in my activity feed, someone had favorited a shop, I hadn’t seen before. One of the listings in that shop (not a teamhandmade team member shop) was for a handmade bag made of Disney Minnie Mouse fabric, very cute. Seeing that prompted me to share with you a revision of something I said in a blog here in May about Disney fabric with regard to trademark infringement.

When I posted on trademark infringement, I touched on the question: if I buy Disney trademarked fabric, can I sell the item that I make with it, or will it be considered trademark infringement? At the time I researched for the blog, I came to the conclusion that it is OK to do that, under the Right of First Sale doctrine. As long as the trademark ™ symbol is used in the description and the description does not say it is a “Disney” product but clearly states that it is a product “made with Disney™ fabric”, I stated I thought it would be OK to do that. Recently I discovered that my interpretation was not correct.

A week or two ago I bought a remnant of a Disney fabric showing Mickey Mouse, and I intended to make and sell a product with it. While pressing it after washing it, I noticed this statement of trademark protection in the selvedge: “Disney for Springs Creative Products Group, LLC.2011. Sold for non-commercial home use only.”

So it appears that Disney has taken action to protect their copyright even in the Right of First Sale Doctrine instances.

So I will wait until my expected grandbaby is toddling around her/his parent’s house and make something for him/her out of this remnant. No way am I going to put something up for sale that could cause Disney to take legal action against me. I apologize to all for giving out incorrect information, and urge everyone to take whatever steps they need to take, to avoid infringing on trademarks in their shops. Of course the best way to be sure you aren’t infringing, if you think you might be vulnerable, is to consult a Patent Attorney.

Happy selling,


1 comment:

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