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Re: Drawings similar to well known products. Copyright problems?

On Mon, Jan 10, 2005 at 06:51:32PM -0500, Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:
> There may be trademark problems.  For example, Duracell may have a
> consider the orange-and-black battery to be trade dress; my
> understanding of trademark law is quite limited, but I don't think it
> applies to pictures of the trade dress in a different form.

It's also got the plus sign.  That's quite clearly intended to be a 
Duracel battery.  The lighter is clearly a Bic lighter, but other 
lighters look similar to that.

It's pretty clear what the intent was -- those are intended to 
represents specific brands.  I have no idea if that's permitted or not.

As for the smiley face I've googled it and Wal Mart now owns the 
"oval-eyed/curvey-mouthed" "ur-smiley-face" that we all think of.  I 
*think* it's okay to draw a smiley face as long as it's distinctly 
different, just as it's okay to draw a blue battery or a zippo-looking 
lighter which has a different number of wind vent slits -- as long as 
you make an effort to distinguish it from the specific brand.

I don't think anybody would sue you unless they wanted to.
If you used it to Defame the brand-holder I think the judge would have a 
case.  It has to do with "intent."

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