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cptkirk
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retailing NFL, MLB memorabillia
« on: Apr 5th, 2005, 11:58am »
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Hello,
Before asking my question, I want to note that I have read the previous thread started by DG. I have also called the numbers listed on the NFL and MLB websites and have gotten no response.
Anyway, here is my situation: I am creating a company that will sell gifts retail on-line. I want to sell sports memorabillia which I will purchase from a licensed mftr/wholesaler.
Question: If I am purchasing items at wholesale from a company that has a license to produce NFL, MLB, etc. memorabillia, do I need any additional licensing to resell such items for retail?  
Also, are there any problems with the fact that my site will show photos of products with team logo's on them?
 
Please help!
 
Thank you!
Kirk
P.S. Can anyone recommend a Good IP Lawyer?
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JimIvey
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Re: retailing NFL, MLB memorabillia
« Reply #1 on: Apr 5th, 2005, 3:10pm »
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on Apr 5th, 2005, 11:58am, cptkirk wrote:
Question: If I am purchasing items at wholesale from a company that has a license to produce NFL, MLB, etc. memorabillia, do I need any additional licensing to resell such items for retail?  
Also, are there any problems with the fact that my site will show photos of products with team logo's on them?

I believe the answers are "No." and "No."
 
The answer to the first question depends ultimately on the degree of control retained by the league in their license agreements with the manufacturers.  I don't have any specific information regarding the typical licensing practices of the leagues, but I suspect you won't have a problem.  
 
My guess on the second question is that, as long as you're a legitimate retailer of licensed products, the league would be happy to let you advertise yourself as such -- it makes them money, ultimately.  However, they have a legitimate interest in maintaining the quality of the licensed merchandise and the manner in which it's depicted in advertising media.  In fact, it would be in their best interest to provide you with high-quality images of the products (the league's best interest and the manufacturers') to help maintain the perception of high-quality in the consuming public.  But, just because it makes good sense doesn't mean it's true.
 
on Apr 5th, 2005, 11:58am, cptkirk wrote:
P.S. Can anyone recommend a Good IP Lawyer?

 
Well, me.  Wink  ...except that I do primarily patents.  I suspect you want a trademark and/or licensing attorney.  I know a few.  I suppose others here know a few (or are themselves good attorneys in these areas).
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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JSonnabend
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Re: retailing NFL, MLB memorabillia
« Reply #2 on: Apr 6th, 2005, 8:55am »
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While I have not handled major sports league licensing, I do handle TM and other licensing matters.
 
- Jeff
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SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
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JSonnabend@SonnabendLaw.com
cptkirk
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Re: retailing NFL, MLB memorabillia
« Reply #3 on: Apr 6th, 2005, 10:34am »
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Smiley
Thank you very much Jim!! You are right!
I'll let you know when my site is done. You
can have the satisfaction of knowing you  
helped me get that business going.
 
Thanks again
Kirk
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