Using quotes or phrases in commercial products

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Elliott, 18 May 2019.

  1. Elliott

    Elliott Member

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    I am looking into establishing a new business that sells a variety of products (t-shirts, mugs, homewares etc) featuring dog-themed phrases, such as the following:

    "I apologise to my dog when I go out"
    or
    "When I need a hand I found your paw"

    As far as I can tell, these phrases can't be attributed to anyone in particular, so are there any potential IP issues with using the phrases for commercial purposes?

    I did find a few instances of similar phrases being trademarked, such as "Hug your dog", however possibly this was a trademark over the design as opposed to the phrase?

    Thanks in advance,
    Elliott
     
  2. Rob Legat - SBPL

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  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
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    And yes, phrases can be trademarks.
     
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  4. Elliott

    Elliott Member

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    Thanks for your reply Rob, so assuming the phrase can't be found on the trademark search, then it is free to be used?
     
  5. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    That just means it's not a registered trade mark. It doesn't mean that it's not in use by someone else. You'd have to do research in your market to determine that. If someone else is using it, you could face a claim of passing off if you tried to use the phrase in a similar way.
     
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  6. Elliott

    Elliott Member

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    Okay, thanks for taking the time to respond, I will do some further research.
     
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