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Author Topic: Q: Can I use product photographs with product trademarks for a board game?!  (Read 3491 times)

DubbelDutch

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Hi,

I'm working on a new board game to publish. The thing is I would like to use old product photographs with trademarks.
So for example products with old gone trademarks (they don't exist anymore) or a old Coca Cola bottle (still existing,to make it more extreme).

Hope someone can help me out here!

Martijn
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NJ Patent1

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Some observations, not legal advice.  Old product photographs with (showing?) the TM?  You said the TMs are (in US parlance) abandoned (or have become generic).  IMO there is no obvious TM issue.  However, someone may still own copyright in the photographs per se

A photograph of a Coca Cola(R) bottle?  There is of course the question of copyright in the photos.  Trademark?  You would not be using the image in a TM sense.  You are not selling drinks.  However, the Coke(R) mark and trade dress are so strong that the owner might have a good case (in US) for false association, tarnishment, etc.  Depends on what your game is about.  If the game is directed to “tweens” or teenagers and depicts Coke(R) in a positive light, they might well leave you alone as an ally in the “cola wars”.
 
In sum, IMO copyright in the photos may be the greater concern.

Tot ziens, NJP1
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