Trade marked items to hire

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Trade marked items to hire

Post by tajones »


My business is catered around parties & personalising items. A couple of things I need to be sure on.

1- What are the rules/laws on using trade marked items to hire out for business use party hire etc?
2 - Can I personalise an already trade marked item, ie put peoples names etc on to say a disney cup?
3 - If I buy designs from places like design space to personalise products what are my rights to sell them on once the design is used?
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Re: Trade marked items to hire

Post by AndyJ »

Hi tajones,

The purpose of trade mark protection is to prevent the buying public from being deceived or confused about the true origin of the goods or services they are considering buying. To that extent it mainly concerns the way in which a product is being offered to the public, such as advertising or packaging etc. It does not have any effect on the way a trade marked item can be used once it has been legally purchased, so there's nothing to stop you using or hiring out items which are genuine products made by the trade mark owner. And yes, you can do what you like with the goods once they are your legal property.

When you mention designs, we need to be clear what we are talking about. If you are referring to artwork which can be applied to products, then in most cases the artwork will be protected by copyright, and therefore you need to check with the person who is selling the designs about exactly what you are being licensed to use the artwork for. If it clear from the context that the seller is intending for the design to be used to personalise and sell something then you should be OK to do as you describe. However if it is not clear from the advertising or any terms and conditions of sale that the seller is intending their work to be altered by customising it, you need to get permission to do this if you intend to sell the finished item. You may find that personalising the design for private use is authorised, but doing so for commercial gain is not, and permission needs to be sought and quite possibly a fee will need to be paid.
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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