Legal Question in Business Law in Colorado

What are the limits of legal use of another companies Trademark.

We manufacture an electronic device for use in Handspring's Visor PDA. I need to know how I can make reference to their device that our modules are compatable with theirs without any trademark infringments. For example can we say our device is for the use as a springboard module (springboard is a trademark)or that it is Springboard compatable. Then have a disclaimer saying that Springboard is a Trademark owned by Handspring? If not then how?

Handspring will not give their permission for using their trademarks or logos because they feel we are not compatable, but they do want us to go ahead and market our devices. Please help.

Asked on 6/07/01, 4:37 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Louise Aron Attorney at Law


Louise Aron

Attorney at Law

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LawGuru user

Dear LawGuru user:

I do believe your problem can be solved, but I would need more information about the products. I am unfamiliar with the brands you mentioned.

There are many ways to refer to trademarks for which you have not received permission. Let's assume that your product is a device changes Hewlett Packard (HP) black and white printers into color printers. The following are not violations of HP's trademark:

"We guarantee that our module is compatible with all major brand black and white laser printers, or your money back."

"Our module is compatible with other major brand printers. For information, check our web site at or call our toll free number at 1888 888 8888."

Also, have you offered Handspring money in the form of royalties or a lump sum for use of their trademark? An agreement regarding compensation can sometimes be negotiated and signed by you and the trademark holder.

I invite you to visit my web site, where there is a link to an outline I wrote on Trademark and Copyright Basics.

Thank you for using LawGuru.


Louise Aron

Attorney at Law

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Answered on 7/16/01, 1:26 pm

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