Guilty by Association?


Copyright, patents, passing off and other intellectual property rights can be costly if breached.

Author: Jason Williams
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 6 years old.

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Advertising is competitive and everyone looks to do something that will catch the eye of prospective or existing customers.

Usually the methods engaged are legally compliant with the provisions of the Advertising Standards Authority – honest, decent, truthful etc.

To put the picture of someone famous next to your advertising however is only permitted if you have their permission to do so.

Otherwise you could find yourself in trouble.

Pictures of your company logo next to a famous persons’ quote is also forbidden unless you have their consent.

Remember that members of the public will make a connection between words and image and could wrongly be led to believe that there is an endorsement of your business by that famous person.

Often it will cause a complaint by a competitor who does have their brand connected with a celebrity and has had to pay them lots of money for the privilege.

The celebrity who notices unofficial use of their image rights may well get their lawyers onto you very quickly and possibly pursue you for compensation.

Even if that person has passed away, their image rights will be protected against unlawful use and be enforced by whoever holds those rights.

Copyright, patents, passing off and other intellectual property rights can be costly if breached – especially given the speed at which words and images can be passed around the world.

Jason Williams

Legal Advisor

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