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How can I make it legal to sell homemade craft items with ex: batman, superman, etc logos?

Austin, TX |

I want to know if I can make and sell homemade crafts with copyrighted logos like: batman, superman , etc. How can I make this legal and legit? Do I have to buy an already made applique or say a sheet and cut it out and resew onto something else (ie a cape)? Or can I make a homemade logo myself and alter it a bit?

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Filed under: Intellectual property
Attorney answers 3


These superheros' logos belong to someone. They're trademarks for their characters, and there's no way to legally sell products using the trademarks and trade dress of someone else's character without infringing on those rights. The rightsholder has the exclusive rights to market branded goods with these logos (and colors and fonts in the way they're arranged so you recognize them and know them so well), including on clothes, costumes, toys, comic books, lunch boxes, etc. etc.

You can't compete in commerce using someone else's property without infringing on it, nor can you alter it, because that would "dliute" and harm the mark, and cause consumer cufusion about the source of your crafts.

The fact that you want to use these famous icons proves how valuable they are, and proves why you'd be damaging the rightsholder by trading on their fame for your own benefit. You're best off creating something original.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. CONTRACT


While Pamela's answer is 100% correct, I think we need to know about your intended use to answer your question a bit more directly. If you purchase a licensed item and then re-use that to create another item for sale you may be within your rights. You should be aware that many companies do routinely check flea markets and other similar entities for sale of licensed material so don't thik that just becuase you are doign it on a small scale, no one will find out about it.. As I often say on this website: If you intend to put a product out in the marketplace for profit, especially if that product relies on the intellectual property of another, you need to invest in a legal consultaion with a qualifieid practitioner at the very beginning to educate yourself about your rights and responsibilities.


Without getting a license from the company that owns the rights to the logos there is no way to make this legal. And, no, you cannot make a homemade logo and alter it to try and get around the rights' holders rights.

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