I contacted Seuss Enterprises and was categorically denied permission to use any Seuss character liknesses or any quotes from Dr. seuss. So much for using Seuss characters to inspire young kids to actually read a book or two. I was offered to purchase a bronze statue of a character. I'm actually disgusted with the response I got. And very litte ever disgusts me.
As a franchise attorney I recommend you see the other attorney answers about Dr. Seuss on this site. For example, see http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/i-want-to-make-a-plaque-for-outside-the-public-lib-731681.html?ref=related_documents_title_1
The attorney question and answers are almost identical to the issues you pose and should be instructive.
Kevin B. Murphy, B.S., M.B.A., J.D.
Attorney at Law & Franchise Expert
Director of Operations - Mr. Franchise
FRANCHISE FOUNDATIONS APC
You did the right thing by asking for a license. As for their response, perhaps you can look at it as over protective but they may have their reasons from their own previous experience.
Rather than being upset, if you are the creative type, why don't you invest in creating your own character, and perhaps pair up with a literary master and do you won thing. Good luck.
USPTO Registered Patent Attorney, Master of Intellectual Property law, MBA I am neither your attorney, nor my answers or comments in AVVO.com create an attorney-client relationship with you. You may accept or disregard my free advice in AVVO.com at your own risk. I am a Patent Attorney, admitted to the USPTO and to the Florida Bar.
I don't know why an assertion of intellectual property rights would disgust you, The Dr. Seuss books inspire multiples of kids, and I'm guessing those books are attractive enough to not need a placque in a library.
Rightsholder are often understandably not flattered by imitation or tributes, since they want to decide how and when their work is used.
Hopefully you'll find some other way to support the library. There's no better recipient of support.
Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline