Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Texas

I am an artist and paint cigars and cigar related lifestyle. The question is, can I paint a picture of a cigar, with the manufacturers brand label on it, with other cigars in an ashtray, without permission from the manufacturer? I plan on selling the prints of the painting. I bought the cigar from a store. Please advise. Thanks.

Asked on 2/21/12, 9:07 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Mark Dunn Mark D. Dunn

Copyright infringement occurs when you try to use a brand's image or reputation to boost your own business - for instance, if you sold a cake as a "Betty Crocker cake."

What you're doing would not violate the law. You are making an image of something that you own; you aren't pretending that Tampa Cigars manufactured or sponsored your product (the painting), nor would any reasonable person make that assumption.

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Answered on 2/21/12, 10:30 am

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