Do I need permission to use a restaurants menu on my website?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Do I need permission to use a restaurants menu on my website?

I own a multi-restaurant delivery service in small town Gallup, NM. I went to
all the restaurants to get permission to use their menu on my website. All the
owners that I asked said yes. Others said the owner did not live in town and they
cannot give out their contact information, but they can pass the information. I
haven’t received word from any of the owners. The restaurant would not be losing
any money as I am paying full price for the food, but I do add a 15 gratuity to
the price which goes to my drivers which is noted on the website. Also it will be
noted that my business is affiliated with those restaurants. Also we have a few
McDonald’s and Taco Bell’s and a Starbucks here and I wanted to use their menu
too, but I have yet to hear back from them after leaving a voicemail and an
email. Is it okay if I use their menu with my own font and not using their logo
and add a 15 gratuity to the price for my drivers?

Asked on July 18, 2016 under Business Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can use the information from the menu, so long as you do not use any trademarks: that is, you can manually re-enter the names and prices of the food. That is because information cannot be protected by intellectual property laws: only original expressions (copyright) and/or text, marks, and images used to identify source of product or services (trademark). So do not use scans or reproductions of their menus, even ones you have modified; do not use any trademarks; do not use any of their graphics; etc. If they don't give you permission, all you can do is use the actual informaton: e.g. hamburger for $7.95.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption