Can I use licensed character fabric to creat tangible items to sell?

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Can I use licensed character fabric to creat tangible items to sell?

I buy fabric from joanns and some are Disney characters. Am I able to use the fabric to make, say a jacket, and sell that jacket?

Asked on January 8, 2017 under Business Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot. While you could resell the fabric "as is" (so long as there was no sales, etc. agreement you signed or agreed to in purchasing the fabric, which agreement bars resale--if there was, it is enforceable against you) but you cannot use the fabric to create new products. Trademark law gives the trademark holder the sole right to use that trademark for commercial purposes (subject to the exception for as is resale); copyright law (and these characters would be copyrighted as well) gives the copyright holder the sole right to create "derivative" or "adapted" works--that is, new or modified products--using the copyright material. Between the two, you cannot use the character fabric to make and sell new products.


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