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May I refer to a trademarked product when selling my product?

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Yes, but be careful.

Having the right does not mean that you won’t be sued in America.

This particular right is described in the Lanham Act as a type of fair use.

The factors for “nominative” fair use are as follows.

  • a product or service must not be readily identifiable without use of the mark,
  • The user only uses so much of the mark as is necessary.
  • The user does not do anything to imply sponsorship or endorsement

In fact, it would be useful to provide a prominent disclaimer such as:

“All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies, and use of a trademark nominatively to refer to a particular product or service does not imply sponsorship or endorsement.”


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Chris Paradies

Florida Bar certified intellectual property and U.S. patent attorney, founder of Paradies® law, chair of the board of directors for the Tampa Bay Innovation Center and certified coStarters facilitator. West Point graduate, entrepreneur, disruptor. Father, husband, faithful steward.

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