View Full Version : Trademark Question....

Feb-13-2004, 9:58pm
I have a serious question. As i know absolutely nothing about trademarks/enfrigement etc....if i wanted to have a person, place or thing that is/was famous on the headstock of an insturment would it be the same problem as the Gibson flowerpot issue? Say...if i wanted to put President Lincoln on a headstock for example? Is there anything like a public domain availablity that would allow me to do something like that?

Feb-14-2004, 11:03am
I'm sure that you could put Lincolns head on there because heís a public figure and no one really has any trademarks on him, but as for if you wanted to use Mickey Mouse, whose trademarked by Disney then you'd run into some infringements.

What is it that youíre thinking about using?

J. Mark Lane
Feb-14-2004, 11:08am
That's basically right. You can't really address a question like this in the abstract. There are too many variables. For example, some states have laws regarding the use of a person's "image or likeness" for commercial purposes. Hm. Is it commercial? Does it happen in one of those states? On the other hand, one would want to assess whether the person whose image is being used is one who tends to enforce such things, or one who has, by silence or otherwise, "waived" such objections. For example, I don't believe the estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. has objected to the widespread use of his image.

Bottom line, really, is that if you are seriously concerned, check with a local intellectual property lawyer (lawyers are NOT fungible) regarding the specific use you have in mind.

In other words, "It depends." <g> (That's a sort of lawyer joke. Sorry.)


Feb-14-2004, 12:11pm
No counselor -- the ultimate lawyer joke is when we send them the bill for saying "it depends"...cheers, elen, esq.

p.s. I agree that Abe is probably fair game -- just as long as you don't put a Nike swoop on his jacket or golden arches over his head...

J. Mark Lane
Feb-14-2004, 2:44pm
...or a Playboy bunny

That'll be $500.

Mark, Esq.

jim simpson
Feb-14-2004, 2:59pm
I guess Gibson discontinued the 70's period A-5 (lump scroll) #because of the Mickey Mouse issue.

Feb-14-2004, 5:19pm
Yep, don't do this:

(And before you lawyers start salivating, it ain't fer sale, nor an I makin a penny off it.)

mad dawg
Feb-14-2004, 6:45pm
"That makes me very angry."

--- M.T.M.

Michael H Geimer
Feb-15-2004, 12:10pm
I just spit coffee out my nose. ROTFLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feb-15-2004, 5:35pm
Iím totally envious.

jim simpson
Feb-15-2004, 6:50pm
That's awsome! You sure you won't reconsider?

Feb-15-2004, 7:25pm
Nahhh, you won't want this mandolin. This is my first build, and the fit and finish is not very good. I'm making all my mistakes on the first one, so the 2nd will be close to perfect, or at least ten times better. That's why I decided for no name of the headstock, just something to make a good conversation piece. I expect if Marvin sounds decent, he'll make a good "beater" mandolin to drag out into the elements. The Marvin inlay did come out better than I expected, and there won't be many around like it!

John Ely
Feb-16-2004, 12:54am
Elen, Mark - shall we start our own firm? I'm tired of working for the man.

Feb-16-2004, 1:54am
I think I've seen Marvin inlay before, or rather something similar. Someone posted a pic of a seafoam green mandolin Rigel was making one time. Didn't it have something similar?

J. Mark Lane
Feb-16-2004, 7:48am
Elen, Mark - shall we start our own firm? I'm tired of working for the man.
I like it....

"Brandt Lane & Ely"
"Call us if you get in a jam"