home business questions! help if you can

Discussion in 'Business Ideas' started by tweakmike, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. tweakmike

    tweakmike
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    i have a few questions that i don't feel like paying $100 an hour to get answered unless i HAVE to.

    first off, questions about trademarks, copyright, etc.

    1. what items can be used for profit, first one i am wondering is everything in the public domain, for example i will act like i am running a t shirt company, can i take military symbols, etc. and put them on t shirts sense the symbols are public domain {paid for by the people with taxes so the people own it?}

    2. something popular, i know call of duty modern warfare 2 is popular right now, would i be able to take images form the game like call-signs, tags, etc. and use those symbols or are those copyright/trademarked? i know the actual logo is and such but what about those others?

    3. can i take a logo some someone, mix it up with a different font and color and would that still be trademarked? how strict are the trademarks?

    4. if i buy t shirts form a county like china, India, etc. that have trademarked symbols on them, can i sell those? for example, if i buy some t shirts with the NFL logo on them, is that illegal or legal since i did not produce the t shirts?

    other general questions.

    1. best way to find manufacturers, distributors, etc.?

    2. if i wanted something developed, like a plastic bottom or a wooden stand that i want to sell in mass, how do i find the means of that development.

    3. what is the industry standard for pitching my product to places. i mean if i develop souvenirs for people on vacation, how do i pitch those to all the individual souvenir shops? or if i develop religious items, how do i market those?

    just having trouble with research on finding out how to get from point A to point B to point C. I understand what the points are, just can't make it from step to step.

    more questions to come, i also thought i would just make them as generic as possible to also help others out along the way.

    thanks
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum tweakmike and thanks for asking your business questions. The answers to your questions will depend a lot on the country you will be doing business in and the legal jurisdiction that applies to your business.

    In my opinion the answers to your first four questions would largely be "no". Companies pay to protect their trademarks and they don't allow others, to use their logos or other branding, without their approval in writing. One quick way of finding out, would be to contact the companies or organisations concerned and ask them if you can have their permission to use their images on your T-Shirts.

    If you are serious about a particular idea and are confident that there is a market for it, you should get a professional legal opinion before incurring other significant expenses. It will cost you but could save you a lot of money in the long run.

    For your general questions;

    You could start with Google, then use trade directories and yellow pages phone books. If you are sourcing from abroad you should contact that countries consulate or embassy in your own country. Consulates and embassies are generally keen to support businesses in their own country and will often do some research to source suppliers for you.

    Relevant industry & trade associations are another option to consider. They will have lists of their members and should be able to provide you with relevant contact details.

    The first step would be to do some research as outlined in response to your question No. 1 above, to find out if there is already a suitable product available elsewhere. When you say that you would like a product "developed" do you mean manufactured for you or do you need to have the product designed?

    Find out if there are any agents or distributors already selling to these shops and then contact them to ask if they would be interested in carrying your product. The other approach would be to telephone and visit the shops yourself and ask them if they will sell your product. Remember that the shop will have to remove some existing products from their shelves in order to stock your product. You need to be able to give them a good reason for doing that. Namely you need to show them that they can profit from selling your product.

    You could also contact some of your prospective retailers on a research basis. Explain to them that you are setting up a business to sell the types of items that they carry and ask them if they would have a few minutes to spare, to help you to get your products into the stores. Many retailers will be happy to give you some tips and industry information and it will also help them because it will make them aware of a new product coming on the market.

    Good luck with putting your business together. Please post back with your thoughts and to let us know if you have any further questions.
     
  3. JamesD31

    JamesD31
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    As Fergal has mentioned most of the posts in questions 1 - 4 would be a "no". As for the rank emblems for the army, in question 1. I am some what certain you can use those, but they would have to be custom made, not a stolen image.

    For the Call of Duty images, as well as the NFL images, those are all trademarked. Even if the shirt is made with an NFL logo, that company pays NFL to be able to use their stuff - so unless you are paying NFL in order to use team's logos, it is illegal. All of the COD images are copyrighted down to the text.

    For the most part on copyrighted logos, and your question of changing the fonts and such, that is still illegal. If an image is trademarked, it usually is done so to the extent that it complies with everything and all of it's alternations.
     
  4. makatiofficespace

    makatiofficespace
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    Answers would be "no" or maybe yes if you can negotiate with them (concerned company ) except for military symbols. You may want to pay for franchising their products if you really want those stuff with it. But as long as I'm informed, you cannot use any logo,symbol,trademarks of one's company of business for your own business. Better yet, try to create you own design and make it attractive to the buyers. Marketing plans and strategies as well as the design and quality of the products is a must if you want to have good clients regularly.
    p.S. Try to search online about Trademark Law and the effective way to market your own business online and offline.
     
  5. GekiDan

    GekiDan
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    I think the people before me already have answered your questions.
    But I have a different interpretation on the 4th.

    I think what he meant on this is reselling imported stuffs.
    If I got this correctly, yes you can resell those items. It's like Buy/Sell stuffs. But you need to pay those importation taxes since you intended to sell these.
     

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