About Logos, Copyrights and/or Trademarks

Discussion in 'Careers, Education & the Business of Fashion' started by getpalmd, May 24, 2009.

  1. getpalmd

    getpalmd New Member

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    I've been wondering about this a long time, so now I have to ask. If you design a clothing piece, or a bag, or whatever it is, can you use other brands / logos as inspiration and somehow include it in your own design?

    As an example, you say Ferrari I think of the black prancing stallion, you say Vivienne Tam and I think of peonys, you say Jaguar and I think of their jaguar, you say WWF and I think of the panda.. you get my point. Items or animals that can be connected to a very well-known brand.

    Lets say I would like to design a dress with a black prancing stallion on it. An identical to the Ferrari horse. I wouldn't use their logo, but the horse, that is anyway very rezognizable. Can I do this without getting into trouble?

    And lets say I would like to design a red dress with similar stripes that can be seen on the Ferrari F430 Scuderia, and name my piece "Scuderia", inspired by the car? Is that possible?

    Appreciate all information I can get, I'm a web designer so yes I'm familiar with copyright rules, but I can't figure out if the prancing stallion is copyright protected or not. Or if Scuderia is a word that I can't use for a commercial item (I anyway assume I'm free to use both of them as long as I don't use a logo?).
     
  2. softgrey

    softgrey flaunt the imperfection

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    hi there-

    i've moved your thread to a more appropriate area where you are likely to get more responses...

    :flower:
     
  3. designerleather

    designerleather New Member

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    Your question is not copyright, but is rather trademarks.

    That being said. Laws of each nation can often apply, and the more closely your item is and attributes to those others, the more likely you are to receive a cease and desist or worse, damages lawsuits.

    In your point, the Ferrari horse is a distinguished element of their logo, so you do not just have to have the horse, absent its shield to make it all of the sudden free and fair.

    Now that also does not say that Ferrari has the market and you can not use the sillouhette of other horses, but if you use an exact copy of theirs, well that would get you in hot water.

    The issue comes down to the following. Is the work DERIVATIVE. If your work is derived from a trademarked logo, especially if it bears notable resemblances, then you cannot.

    Now you can approach Ferrari, and ask to license the similarities, but again, they will have to decided whether this hurts their name or image.

    Scuderia is just a name. Names do have some limited fair use, but in the case of clashing names, it is needed to be shown that they are differentiated.

    As an example, there is a bar.

    httP;//www.scuderianyc.com

    Does their logo or colors bear ANY resemblance to Ferrari. Now if they did red and gold... then they may have an issue.

    They also further, if you mouse-over, define Scuderia to its origins, do mention it is well known these days for Ferrari, but state that the name is because of the "team" concept of the four principals.
     
  4. getpalmd

    getpalmd New Member

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    Thanks for the answer!

    My interest is purely for the horse without the gold/yellow shield around it. But even without the shield it will shout out Ferrari, because it's a worldknown branding image. However horses are used everywhere, so I sort of would assume that I can use an almost identical (= prancing and black) / slightly modified horse in my designs, as long as there's no Ferrari text anywhere (other than maybe "Inspired by..") and their complete logo isn't visible in the designs.

    As for a "Scuderia" dress, the colors would most likely be gold stripes on red dress, as it would be purely inspired by that specific car model, but if you'd leave out the horse from that design, then the only thing in common with Ferrari would be the name inspired by a car, and the colors that after all are just colors and everyone use them. Even the same combination.

    It's not easy! I don't want to do this the wrong way, so better to ask. But I sent an email to their media office as well, maybe they'll have time to give me a final answer to my question.
     
    #4 getpalmd, May 24, 2009
    Last edited by moderator : May 24, 2009
  5. designerleather

    designerleather New Member

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    You mis the point of DERIVATIVE. What you describe, a similar black prancing horse that will "shout Ferrari" by your own words is an indictment.

    When it comes to trademarks, it can be subjective. If one draws and association from your usage to a well known brand, then it can be subject top a violation.

    Now if you were to just use a shadow of a horses head, a completely different profile/shape... then you are o.k.

    Red dress with white stripes is fine, as a very specific shadow of a black prancing horse, even if it is different... if it is close enough you likely have violated trademarks.
     
  6. getpalmd

    getpalmd New Member

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    The word derivative is difficult to swallow in the world of design, as pretty much everything is inspired by something else. Zara copy Balmain, Topshop copy Gucci.. difficult to know where to draw the line, what's so unique that you can't use that as your inspiration when making something new. I admit that I'd like to use Ferraris as my inspiration for a collection, that's why I'm asking ;) If that's copying, maybe it is.

    Hope they'll answer my email!
     
  7. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Just to clarify for other members ... "copyrights" usually apply to photos ... usually the photographer has the copyright, unless he's sold it to a magazine or other company (under some sort of contract). And it also applies to articles, books, graphic design, etc.

    I have heard that it's easy to get popped for an infrigment on a trademark ... such as designerleather said and I beleive that you do need legal help to try to determine where the legal line lies ... but even then, it can be contested and you can be sued by the company. And even if you win, it's costly to defend yourself.
     
    #7 BetteT, May 24, 2009
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: May 24, 2009
  8. designerleather

    designerleather New Member

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    The dress you describe to me is fine. Adding the Ferrari horse to it, absent of the shield or not to me then crosses the fine, because it starts tying together signature elements.

    As an example. Once can go out and do a quilted leather purse. If you then adorn the front of the purse with two "Cs" back to back that look like the Chanel logo, but are not exact since Chanel's overlap, the intent becomes more circumspect.

    In terms of fashion, this is becoming a very contested area.

    Some decent history is here:

    http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/law/st_org/iptf/articles/content/1997121201.html

    And what is going on in the US is here:

    http://www.thelegality.com/archives/65

    France I believe has a new law and that a design much differ from an original in 12 or some number details...

    My experience is limited, and primarily it has been going after Pakistani companies who not only were copying (AND PISS POORLY AT THAT ) our designs, but using our copyright images on their websites and eBay.
     
  9. designerleather

    designerleather New Member

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    Bette brings up some great details, and it is even more complicated than that. When we hired models, they signed a release with us. This release specified their compensation, but also specified the media in which the images would be used, as well as the period of time. The scope of this can be incredible, but long and short, really 4 players are involved: The publisher, the designer, the models and the photographer, and all consent by way of contract / release.

    That is copyright which, as BetteT, points out is generally for print and digital media. Trademark is for logos and branding, but copyright CAN apply to clothes. Many of the North Beach Leather designs were copyrighted, and inside the garment, next to the label, is another label with the copyright symbol as well as legalese asserting the design and protection against duplication.

    Could you just copyright a pattern for a blazer? It would be difficult because you would have to show it had not been done before. North Beach was able to do this because many of their color block jackets were unique and easy to show that they has not been created before. In a few cases, North Beach did LICENSE a piece of work, even though North Beach's homage was unique.

    Demonstrative of this was the FW 1992 LOVE jacket shown below

    [​IMG]

    The art work and

    LO
    VE

    was created by Robert Indiana. He owned the images and North Beach licensed it from him to produce the jacket. Now granted, the colors are different, the medium is very different... I am sure Robert never pictured that his LOVE would be stylishly done on a woman's lambskin motorcycle style jacket, but to do it legally, permission was needed.

    Now if you did something similar, and did COOL, LUST, what have you, then it becomes a little more open to HOMAGE, and less unique... LOVE as done... well that is meant to refer to a known symbol and picture and credit/permission is due.

    Had it just said LOVE, not LO VE and the O tilted, well then no, but the stacked 2x2 and the tilted O, make the piece recognizable.

    Trademark and Copyright get tricky in fashion because logos are trademarked, names are trademarked, some design innovations I believe can be trademarked, but notable designs are actually copyrighted.
     
  10. mccanner

    mccanner Member

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    History of YSL logo?

    Does anyone know any history about the YSL logo?

    Have a link to how it was thought up or any quotes from YSL himself on it?

    It would be much appreciated!

    Much love.
     
  11. MissMagAddict

    MissMagAddict The future is stupid

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    The original logo was designed in 1963 by Adolphe Mouron Cassandre.
     
  12. designerleather

    designerleather New Member

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    And for kicks... Googled "History of YSL logo"

    1st hit

    Link 1

    1961
    The YSL Logo

    Adolphe Mouron Cassandre (1901-1968) designed the distinctive Yves Saint Laurent logo which still remains a cultural icon.

    A poster, unlike a painting, is not, and is not meant to be, a work easily distinguished by its 'manner' - a unique specimen conceived to satisfy the demanding tastes of a single more or less enlightened art lover. It is meant to be a mass-produced object existing in thousands of copies - like a fountain-pen or automobile. Like them, it is designed to answer certain strictly material needs. It must have a commercial fashion.
    - Adolphe Mouron Cassandre
     

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