Quick Question

Advice for those new to the concepts of copyright
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Jules
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Quick Question

Post by Jules » Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:07 pm

Hi all, new to the forum and also new to copyright issues. I am looking for a bit of advice on intellectual properties. I was hoping to make a badge for the British GP at Silverstone in July this year not on a large scale but something to help pay for my stay there. Now I understand that all teams like Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren etc would have their team names and logos trade marked which is grand but my question is would the drivers names come under the term IP?

Cheers Jules

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:55 pm

Hi Jules,
Names can't be subject to copyright but they can be trademarks if there is sufficient public awareness of them as a 'brand'. Some celebrities may go as far as registering their name in this way. But the biggest problem you face would be one of passing-off. Strictly speaking this is not an intellectual property right, but is closely allied to IPR. There are 3 elements to passing off: goodwill - that is, trading off a company or individual's reputation and goodwill with the public; misrepresentation - acting in a away in which the public might be confused as to the origin of the goods, or in this case whether the goods you were selling had been endorsed by the named peson; and damage to the reputation of the company or individual concerned.
Because you would be selling these badges at the venue to fans of motor racing, there would be a high likelyhood of people associating your badges with the named drivers. Afterall that's why you would be selling them. So that makes it easier to prove elements one and two, if someone wished to take action against you.
I would recommend that before you invest any money in this venture, you check with the individual drivers you would like to feature. There may be existing fan-clubs who have already been licensed to sell memorabilia on the driver's behalf. Also they may well have agents you could contact to ask about marketing deals. But before all that, you can see if their names have been registered as trademarks here: UK IPO
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

Jules
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Post by Jules » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:07 am

Andy many thanks for your reply, it gives me a better idea. I have been in touch with McLaren allready about the drivers name which they say understandably allready have certain arrangements with other partys and this would contravene them. I have also been in touch with UK trading standards to see if I can get any pointers from them.I have a rough design which hopefully does not include any misrepresentation from the three drivers.

Cheers Jules

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