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Meet and greet events -preschool tv characters

 
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Becky
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:39 pm    Post subject: Meet and greet events -preschool tv characters Reply with quote

Hi

I am after some copyright and trademark advice.

Myself and a friend have come up with a plan for a business adventure. It will be aimed at preschool children. We are wanting to sell tickets for events where the children can come and meet and greet a mascot of their favourite character at present.

We have been brought to the attention that we cannot use the programme name in the title of the event or use their images on our posters. We did have an event called paw patrol TM (unofficial) meet and greet and we had the logo and two characters on a poster that we designed. We now know this is wrong and have had to cancel the events, which we have.

So my question to you is: can we do such events (meet and greet, goody bag, autograph of the character and instant Polaroid picture of the mascot with the child)?

We know we have to call our events like so and can't name the characters. The list below is the proposed event title and the characters names we would use ( just in case anyone of you aren't down with preschool tv shows the actual programme and real characters names are in brackets)

Pup party: (paw patrol)
The pups owner (Ryder)
The police pup (chase)
The flying pup (Skye)
The fire pup (Marshall)
The builders pup (rubble)
The snow pup (Everest)

Ice party: (frozen)
Ice Queen (elsa)
The queens sister (Anna)

The toy doctors party (doc mcstuffin)
The toy doctor (doc mcstuffin)
The lamb (Lambie)
The hippo (hallie)

And so on for other shows

We are also wanting to buy mascots so that we don't have the cost of hiring them each time we do an event. Please can we have advice around this

We would like to do appearances if booked for Parties/events by other businesses with the mascot. Again can someone advise on this

Any advice at all is very welcome. We know there are some fees-licence Costs involved somewhere but we don't know where to start
1) would we be able to hold such events if we used the party and character names as above?
2) can we buy our own mascots and use them in the events?
3) would we be able to be hired to bring a mascot to a birthday party/be hired for a business event?
4) how do we go about paying the fees associated and how much are they? This part seems to be a secret world as I can't find who has the copyrights for any of them

I look forward to any advice. If anyone is able to spare some time to ring me and explain it all so I can ask questions and explain our concept a bit better, please pm me and I will respond

Thanks for your time
Becky
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Becky,

Unfortunately your idea has a great many legal problems to overcome, and I suspect that some of these hurdles may be unaffordable for you as a startup.

As you have correctly identified using characters from these various children's entertainments involves someone else's intellectuual property in the form of copyright and trade marks. There are two possible ways forward:
    1. Use generic characters to go with the generic names you already have, which do not copy the various Paw Patrol, Frozen etc characters, but be prepared for companies like Disney to challenge even this use once they get to hear of it. The part of the law they are most likely to rely on is called passing-off, which you can read about here.
    or
    2. Go down the licensing route, in which case you will be able, assuming your licensing application is accepted, to use the costumes and real names of the characters. However for some of the Frozen characters, I suspect that Disney may have a problem with issuing a licence, firstly because they already use characters from Frozen as Meeters and Greeters at their theme parks, and even if they do consider licensing you, there are likely to be strict quality control conditions, and the licence won't be cheap. I don't know anything about the company behind Paw Patrol, SpinMaster Entertainment
If you decide to go ahead with trying to get licences, here are some contact details you can try:

Spin Master (Paw Patrol): Jo Thompson, UK PR Executive, Spin Master Ltd, Riverhead House, Boston Drive, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, SL8 5YS. Tel 01628 535018 JoT@spinmaster.com

Disney (Frozen and Doc McStuffin): Disney Licensing

Lastly here is a guide to what to expect to go through with a licensing application: SmallBusiness.com
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Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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Becky
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Joined: 09 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Thank you for your reply.

We were informed that the concept is good and would work if we used generic names when advertising.

I've also been informed to not have a picture of the mascot we would be using and have the following on the event page on Facebook

PLEASE BE AWARE - IT IS NOT OUR INTENTION TO VIOLATE ANY COPYRIGHT LAWS. WE MAKE NO ATTEMPT TO MARKET OUR CHARACTER MASCOTS/FACE CHARACTERS AS “BRAND NAMES” OR LICENSED, THE MASCOTS/DRESSES WE USE ARE THE CREATIONS OF THERE MANUFACTURERS. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO NATIONALITY/INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN CHARACTER MASCOTS ARE INCIDENTAL. SHOULD YOU HAVE THE NEED FOR A LICENSED OR COPYRIGHTED CHARACTER WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONTACT THE COMPANY/COPYRIGHT HOLDERS FOR THAT

With this in mind, would we now be able to meet and greets for children where they can come and have their pic taken and possibly get an autigraph (subject to licensing permission)

Would we have any chance of using the proper character names if we apply for it? Or any of their imaging for posters?

This is all very new to us. We had this idea as we love seeing our own children being excited by the characters so we dreamed up this idea and people love it. We've had to let 280 children down which is what we had in our first weekend.

I hope we can find a way around it and make it work.

I think it's the mascot bit we are going to struggle the most with.
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