Photo / trademark / copyright / patent / penoid question for Epimer

My company wants to use an image (we took the photo so have copyright) on our website, but one of the people in the picture is wearing a branded T-shirt with another company’s logo prominently displayed on it (the clothing brand, not a competitor or anything). Can we use the picture without any worry or do the other company have some say over how their logo is used for commercial purposes?


Just blur it out?

It would look really weird, it’s basically a portrait shot of two guys and the logo is huge in the middle of one of their white t-shirts.

Just blur it out


don’t think you have fair usage of any patent, pal

That is patently false!

wouldn’t bother with it. Probably would be fine depending on the context (i imagine the two fellas aren’t engaged in some sort of criminal act in the photo?), but if you can use something else, then its not worth the bother.

Pretty sure epimer’s area of expertise is more when someone wants to patent some milk they’ve spilt potassium into or something

of this

Out of interest, would this also apply to say, cars in the backgrounds of shots?

Whether or not the other company would care is a different question, though. And from memory the case law around this is really tedious and involves the Premier League and Panini football stickers.

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Oh come on now are you really best placed to have a go at boring card collecting games?


I refuse to believe that anything involving Panini can be really tedious.

Is this from when I sent those DMs to HoFo with just Francis Benali covering my modesty?


There’s an exception for incidental use for exactly this kind of thing, but I can’t remember the details.

I don’t do collectible stuff.


If someone takes a photo, copyright can exist in that photo. If someone takes a photo of a work protected
by copyright, and the work forms an essential part of
the image, using that photo on the web is likely to be
an infringement of copyright. In other words, people
are allowed to take a photo of a room of paintings, provided the inclusion of such paintings in the photo was merely incidental (for example, they formed inessential background). However, you would need to be careful about copyright infringement if taking photos of specific paintings.

I would argue that in my case the clothing logo is merely incidental to the purpose and intention of the photo. But I don’t know if a copyrighted work and a trademarked logo differ in how they’re treated?

Yeah, different statute and different standards for infringement and different defenses. Notably there’s no “fair use” of trade marks, just very limited exceptions like the ability to use your own name (!).