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Taking Care of Business
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Old October 14th, 2004, 06:28 AM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 48
Sports Team logos

What is the ruling on showing a sports teams logo
within the context of a movie scene?

Example: We have a scene in a kid's room where there
is a Lakers banner on the wall...later, the kid's dad is seen
wearing a Dodgers sweatshirt

is there any permission to deal with here?
Scott Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 14th, 2004, 02:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Altoona, PA
Posts: 28
Definitely, those are registered marks, and permission is needed. We just went through a similar process for signs, bottles, cans, glasses etc for interior shooting in bars and clubs. The toughest part was finding the righ people to contact. Many of the companis we contacted had a third party agent handle their clearances. Some requested we send them a release form, others provided a release for us to sign and return. But in any case they will definitely have to be released.
Unsigned music television
Bud Younke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 14th, 2004, 06:09 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
Trademark law prevents consumer confusion as to source, sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement. If a particular use of a trademark does not result in a likelihood of consumer confusion, then no infringement is committed and the use is not precluded. There is, therefore, no blanket rule that forbids using another's trademarks (which, by the way, do not need to be registered to be protectable as trademarks) in a film or video. However, the determination as to whether a particular use is likely to result in consumer confusion as to source et al. is not one that can be made by a layperson; check with your lawyer.

Another consideration that comes under the rubric of trademark is dilution and tarnishment, both of which apply to "famous marks." Dilution results in a diminishment of the source-identifying character of the mark. Tarnishment is just as it sounds -- tarnishing the reputation of the mark. Neither requires likelihood of consumer confusion to be actionable. Again, whether a particular use constitutes dilution or tarnishment is not a determination that a non-lawyer can make.

A related, by non-trademark, concern is copyright infringement. Many trademarks are also protectable as copyrights. Copyright infringement has no confusion requirement -- protected expression is infringed if it is copied without authorization.
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