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Professional Sports Logos - Trademark or Copyright Infringement???

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  • Professional Sports Logos - Trademark or Copyright Infringement???

    Although I'm not a graphics designer I do a few small things here and there for a client when needed. The company sells professional sports team related products and this naturally calls for the use of league logos (football, basketball, collegiate, racing, and hockey). Although they sell officially licensed products I don't believe they have received any special permissions to use these logos.

    I created a little flash movie and incorporated these logos for the homepage. I also tilted them at an angle in ps before adding to my slides.

    Could someone elaborate on the "issues" with using these logos in my graphics work? (I know there are some) What is required when using these trademarked logos. Do you receive licensing? And how can this effect not only me as the "designer" but the company? They also use these logos throughout their website.

    Sorry for the lengthy post - Thanks in advance for any input.

  • #2
    Are they a licensed reseller?
    We do a lot of work for wireless phone stores and they always seem to have the Standards book and access to their main corporate sponsor logos (Verizon, ATT, etc.) either online or on disk.

    I don't know how it works with sports teams though. I'm not a lawyer but one would think in order to sell the merchandise they should be able to show the merchandise, logo and all.
    As for your usage on website movies it might depend on what you mean by 'tilt'. Messing with logos is frowned upon but if by tilt you mean perspective, it may not be so much an issue.

    You really need to ask your client what their relationship is to the sports teams. I don't think we are going to be able to answer that part.

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    • #3
      I build ads for a few places that sell licensed NHL and NFL wear.
      In both cases I have gotten the logos and pictures direct from their supplier who deals with the licensing issues. PD is right. If they are a licensed seller then they can use the logos etc. Just make sure you don't grab them off brandsoftheworld.com I'd talk to the supplier to ensure that you got them from the "correct source" so that there can be no confusion about you having the rights to use them.
      I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ~ Kurt Cobain

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      • #4
        Thanks guys, I understand its kind of a tricky situation. They sell only licensed merchandise so I am going to check on what their suppliers offer. I believe they have applied for licensing but didn't receive it because they are not the actual manufacturers of the product. So obtaining logos from your suppliers makes sense now that I think about it although they have never informed me that I had this option.

        Oh and by tilted I meant I actually tilted the image over onto its side just slightly using free transform tool but I didnt actually "alter" the image so I was curious if this would also be considered a violation?

        Thanks again for your help!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by knowledge_quest View Post
          Oh and by tilted I meant I actually tilted the image over onto its side just slightly using free transform tool but I didnt actually "alter" the image so I was curious if this would also be considered a violation?
          My guess would be yes, but you'd need to check the graphic standards for the team.

          If you rotated my company's logo, I wouldn't approve the proof. Even 2 would make it look just sloppy.
          This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
          "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

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