Legal Question in Entertainment Law in California

I am a graphic artist, and a series of which i am working on, incorporates companies and trending topics. One piece, I have designed with a portion of the Snickers trademark name. This graphic design im using is a half of a Snickers candy bar/wrapper, so it doesn't show the full name of Snickers. Do i need to gain copyright permissions for this matter, to have my art publicly displayed and sold?

Asked on 12/12/14, 9:27 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Frank Natoli Natoli-Legal, LLC

This all depends. The issues invoke both trademark and copyright concerns. If, for example, this is some artistic work and the use of their IP is for say social commentary, then it might be clearly in the realm of fair use and in such case no permission is needed.

Fair use, however, is a legal defense and the copyright holder is always free to drag you into court and force you to prove out your use as fair. So if you plan on relying on that defense you better be right and that rightness better be obvious.

The only way you can receive any actionable legal advice that you can rely upon is by discussing it all in detail with an IP lawyer in private.

If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.

Our firm is now referred by the American Bar Association (see under the New York section):

Kind regards,



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DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

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Answered on 12/17/14, 9:39 am

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