Football caricature calendar

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
Post Reply
davew1980
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:56 am
Location: Darlington

Football caricature calendar

Post by davew1980 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:23 pm

Hello, I'm producing a 2017 calendar featuring 12 caricature illustrations of (mainly)former footballers. This is a new venture for me, and I hoped to get some advice on some trademark issues.

All the artwork from the illustrations to the the layout and design has been done from scratch by myself.

The artwork contains no reference to the football club's name and no direct reproduction of the club crest - other than on player's shirts within the illustrations. This is where I suspect I may have an issue, and I'm leaning towards erasing them from the illustrations. These aren't direct reproductions of the club logo, but a fairly accurate painted depiction.

I wondered if anyone had experience with a similar issue or was aware of whether the best course of action would be to remove all logos from the illustrations - there aren't many as it mainly features older players.

Also is anyone aware of any other copyright/trademark issues that may arise from such a venture.

many thanks in advance.

User avatar
AndyJ
Oracle
Oracle
Posts: 1942
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Post by AndyJ » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:57 pm

Hi davew1980,

The issue of logos on shirts has come up a few times (eg here) and in the courts so it may be useful to do a search of the forums.

And as you say, it's not just trade mark law that's involved. There's also copyright in the logos to consider. And unfortunately the solution for one doesn't work with the other.

Where trade marks are concerned, a sufficient disclaimer may be all that is needed to disassociate your calendar from any official merchandise (although that's not guaranteed), but that wouldn't get you out of a copyright infringement claim. Conversely since you describe your representations of the players as caricatures, there is a specific exception to copyright law which should prevent a copyright infringement claim, while being of no use in relation to trade mark infringement.

On that basis the simplest solution is to either omit the logos or make them just squiggles which roughly represent the real thing, say some like the Arsenal badge with a drooping barrel and a wheel fallen off!
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

davew1980
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:56 am
Location: Darlington

Post by davew1980 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:00 pm

Thanks Andy - I really appreciate your comments. I've read those 2 articles and they're very useful, I've removed the logos just to be on the safe side, I don't think it detracts massively from the illustrations, although I like the idea of the rough representations! Fingers crossed all goes smoothly.

This forum is a really useful resource - thanks again for your response. Dave

Post Reply