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  • New Patch Design

    I am in the process of designing a new patch and have a question about trademark laws. I have seen several patch over the years that had Disney or Warner Bros. characters on them and wondered if this was legal?

    Thanks
    Smile....it ain't all that bad!!!!!!!

  • #2
    No, it's not legal. Check out this web site www.fplc.edu/tfield/CopyVis.htm for more info. It includes the following segment.

    Avoiding Copyright Infringement

    As discussed earlier, copyright gives its owner the exclusive right, for example, to reproduce protected subject matter (such things as ideas and facts being excluded). Sometimes a question arises as to whether a second, similar work was copied or independently created. If the person creating a second work had access to the original work
    and the works are virtually identical, copying is likely to be presumed even if the chance of access is remote.

    When an artist sells copyright in a work, however, access is obviously not an issue if the same artist later executes a similar work. To avoid problems, it is important that the artist and purchaser of the copyright reach clear agreement about such matters. It is important that artists understand that a work does not have to be identical to infringe copyright in an earlier one. The legal test of infringement is "substantial similarity" -- which translates(roughly) into whether an ordinary observer would recognize a work as copied in whole or in part from an earlier one.

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    • #3
      YIKES!!!!!!!!!

      Would it be safe to say that most, if not all of the patches out there with "Taz", Superman, etc. are illegal?

      There goes my patch design!

      Thanks for the reply
      Smile....it ain't all that bad!!!!!!!

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      • #4
        Any artwork created by someone has an "implied copyright" even if that person does not apply for a copyright. So you can't even copy a character created by Joe Blow off the street without his/her written permission unless you want to risk a lawsuit. There are people all across the country whose only job is to check newspapers, magazines, and other print material for copyright infringement. Of course this is much easier for them to catch when it involves obviously recognizable material, such as cartoon characters. So you're better off creating your own design instead of risking being shut down after all the patches are made and the money spent. You also have the option of writing to the copyright holder of the item you wish to use on the chance that they may approve. Good luck.

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