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Copyright and trademarks serve by protecting logos, including forms of intellectual property protection control in what way other people would use the logo. Trademark and copyright violations, in some cases, can lead to criminal charges. With regards to t-shirt printing Singapore using copyrighted logos, such a case scenario is possible. You must not use another designer’s logo and print them on your shirts for selling without permission. Develop your strategy by getting a good grasp of understanding the meaning of trademark and copyright, including the instances where it is legal to sell your shirts that have copyrighted images.
Copyright and Trademark: What does it mean?
Logos are protected by copyright. Did you know that most logos do not have copyright? But, logos generally have trademark protection, legal protection that applies to a phrase, logo, or name.
Copyrights are legal protection for those who make original dramatic, literary, artistic, and musical works. Even if many use the words “trademark” and “copyright” interchangeably, they are dissimilar.
The logo trademark is filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO as well as the last 10 years. But, after the fifth year of wherein the trademark is still active, the USPTO needs the registrants to file an affidavit. If the registrants won’t, the trademark is no longer protected and is canceled. So, if you want to use the logo, check with the USPTO website to know if the trademark is still valid. If not, you can use the logo.
But, there are times wherein you want to apply a creative work of art and turn it into a logo, copyright law will apply in this case. All works made before 1923 are generally considered part of the public domain. With shirts and logos, all logos you to apply from a work of art created before 1923 is free, and you can use them.
A work under copyright usually lasts 70 years after the creator’s death, or 120 years after its first publication, or whichever happened first.
What is Parody Exemption?
Parody is allowed to be used by trademark law and copyright law as immunity to the violation. It means that an existing design or logo can be used on your shirt that parodies a current logo without being indicted of copyright and trademark violation. You have to modify the original design or logo in such a way that it is clear to the masses that you are engaging in imitation or parody. Let’s say the Apple logo, you can take in worms thrusting their crowns out of the bitten apple. This alteration shows your viewers that you are using parody to the iconic Apple logo. But be careful in altering. It should not be very alike to the original logo. You can still be accused of making a shirt with a copyright violation design.
Licensing and Permission
It’s best to seek permission from the trademark or copyright holder of the logo. Write a letter or send an email stating your intent in using the design. You may be granted the permission that you need wherein you need to pay a flat fee or a percentage of your sales with that logo. Failure to follow your deal will result in copyright infringement.