How to Get Permission to Sell Crafts With a Trademark

By Louis Kroeck

In order to get permission to sell crafts using the trademark of a third party you will need to negotiate a trademark license with the holder of the appropriate trademark. Some organizations may be happy to license their marks for use free of charge provided that you identify the appropriate source of the trademark. Other organizations may require that you provide them with a sample of the crafts you intend to sell or other guarantees that you will not misuse their mark.

In order to get permission to sell crafts using the trademark of a third party you will need to negotiate a trademark license with the holder of the appropriate trademark. Some organizations may be happy to license their marks for use free of charge provided that you identify the appropriate source of the trademark. Other organizations may require that you provide them with a sample of the crafts you intend to sell or other guarantees that you will not misuse their mark.

Trademarks

Trademarks are used to protect the goodwill associated with a product or service and to correctly identify the individual or organization providing those goods or services. Because your use of a trademark on a craft could create consumer confusion as to the source of the craft, it is important that you get permission to use a third party trademark before using a trademark on your crafts as you could face charges for trademark infringement or trademark dilution.

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Locate the Owner

The best way to begin the process of getting permission to sell crafts with a trademark is to identify the correct owner of the trademark. In some instances, the registration for the mark you want to use may have lapsed so you will not need to actually negotiate a license. Search for the trademark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office's search system located in the resources section. You may also search for the trademark in any applicable state trademark databases.

Negotiations

Once of you located the correct owner of the trademark you wish to use, determine if they have a trademark licensing office or an attorney of record. Contact the attorney or trademark licensing office and determine if the organization has a standard protocol for licensing their trademark for uses such as crafts. If the organization does not have a protocol regarding trademark licensing, ask if they would be amenable to a proposed licensing agreement and have a licensing agreement prepared by a trademark attorney. Many large organizations have trademark licensing departments that regularly handle these types of requests.

Considerations

Trademark licensing agreements often contain terms protecting the holder of the trademark and limiting the licensee's use of the mark to a specified purpose. You should have designs and examples of your proposed craft ready for disclosure as the organization may have an approval process. Additionally, the organization may require that you sign a royalty agreement guaranteeing them royalties on each craft you sell.

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Sale Uses of a Trademark

References

Resources

Related articles

Expiration of Trademark Registration & Abandonment

A trademark is a combination of words or symbols that identifies and distinguishes a product or service of an individual or company. Commercial use automatically creates common-law trademark rights that last as long as the mark remains in commercial use. You can also register and maintain a trademark with your state or with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Federal registration and maintenance is more expensive, but it provides a public record of the trademark claim and the ability to sue in federal court to protect your rights. You must periodically renew and monitor your claim to prevent expiration or abandonment.

Changing a Trademark Design

Organizations tend to change their trademark design from time to time in order to give their image a new look. In most instances, when you change your design you will also need to file a new trademark application. You also should carefully consider how to deal with the legal ramifications of using a new mark.

How to Start a Trademark

A trademark is a unique ''word, phrase, symbol or design that identifies and distinguishes'' the goods or services of a company from competitors, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Trademarks are important because they enable potential customers to identify the products of a specific business and brand(s) of the business. While a trademark does not need to be registered, federal and state registration is important because it can prevent your competitors from using your logo to advertise their own products and effectively steal customers. If you have the trademark, only you get to use the mark.

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