Can a TV show use my company name without my permission

My company logo and name were used in an
episode of family Guy without my permission
do I have any options

Asked on May 12, 2017 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If it was a news show and you were the subject of legitimate reporting, you have no rights or options: names, logos, etc. can be used in reporting.
If it was some other show (a reality show, a sitcom, a game show), they needed your permission and should have paid you for the right to use your company name and logo. You can send a demand letter to the producers asking for compensation: you would include in it proof that that is your business name and logo (e.g. your business registration; anything relating to trademark; possibly sample marketing materials or link to your website, so they can see how the name and logo are used in commerce; etc.). If they do not voluntarily pay you, you have the legal right to sue, but before doing so, consult with an intellectual property attorney, to see if the amount of money you could get would be worth the cost and effort of a lawsuit.

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