Thursday, August 22, 2013
Using Photoshop to Eliminate Trademark Issues
Dear Rich: We are a small for-profit business involved in counseling and psychotherapy. This is an original photo but contains a trademark in the background (Rolex). We want to use it in our social media, but I don't want to create a potential lawsuit. It shouldn't be an issue. You don't need permission to use trademarks for editorial (or "informational") purposes. You should only be concerned if the trademark is used in a commercial manner (you're trying to raise money or sell something with the photo) and consumers are likely to be confused into thinking Rolex endorses your nonprofit. Considering that half the trademark is missing and that Rolex is unlikely to see (or care) about your use, you're probably okay. But, if you're concerned, why not just to do what professionals do -- remove the name via Photoshop or some similar image software?