WRX Gear - Copyright Infringement?
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This is a discussion on WRX Gear - Copyright Infringement? within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; If you create t-shirts, stickers, hats or anything else with 'WRX' on it, are you legally allowed to sell it? ...

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    Registered User santorex's Avatar
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    WRX Gear - Copyright Infringement?

    If you create t-shirts, stickers, hats or anything else with 'WRX' on it, are you legally allowed to sell it? Or does subaru need to receive some licensing fee first? Anyone make and or sell their own gear?

    Also, if the name of something has 'WRX' in it, does that apply? Like ClubWRX for example...

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    Registered User mcdbrendan's Avatar
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    According to the fine print, "SUBARU BOXER, Added Security, Impreza, STI and WRX are registered trademarks." So if you printed any of those (with commercial intent) without being an established licensee, you would be committing trademark infringement.

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    Registered User mcdbrendan's Avatar
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    I think some of their trademarks are funny:

    Trademarks owned by FUJI and Subaru of America: Subaru, Six Star Cluster design, Legacy, Impreza, WRX, STI, Switchback, Outback, Forester, Tribeca, The Beauty of All-Wheel Drive, The World's First Sports Utility Wagon, Master the Mountain, Sport Utility Tough. Car Easy, Added Security, The World's First Multiple Choice Vehicle, Driven By What's Inside, AWD Design, Drive, Stellar Performers and SPORTSHIFT®.
    Third party product-related trademarks: L.L. Bean and MOMO.

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    I Support ClubWRX
    Quote Originally Posted by santorex View Post
    If you create t-shirts, stickers, hats or anything else with 'WRX' on it, are you legally allowed to sell it? Or does subaru need to receive some licensing fee first? Anyone make and or sell their own gear?

    Also, if the name of something has 'WRX' in it, does that apply? Like ClubWRX for example...
    As far as explicitly using the phrase "WRX" etc. within the context of describing a 4 wheel boxer powered car mfg'd by FHI, then yes it is protected under copyright law and cannot lawfully be copied with the intent of commercial distribution.

    If the intent of the publisher/potential infringer, is to profit by fooling the would be purchaser as to buying "officially licensed" goods, then absolutely it is against the law. As is copying the specific fonts, sayings, slogans etc.

    Hell many shirt places like zazzle.com have intelligent anti copyright software that prohibits you from knowingly or unknowingly violating copyright laws by denying your design when using their service.

    However if you were to use the phrase "WRX" in a context other than to describe a 4 wheeled vehicle made by FHI such as an acronym for "Waldo's Really Cross" as long as the font and proportions are different or wording describing the acronym is included, then you are 100% in the clear. Another example would be if your initials were WRX.

    However there laws get murky in respect to "artistic intent". Artistic Intent can be referencing the context of WRX, but as an artists own work. Such as a painting, photo, poster, etc. So if you took a really good photo of a WRX in the wild and wanted to have a print made (as long as you had the owners consent) you would be fine. Or if you rendered WRX in a stylistic manner, than you would be ok.

    However, if the MFG takes a big enough offense to whatever it is, and whatever the context, you'll be going to court.

    Interesting case:

    Most notably Ford vs Ferrari over use of the term F150, which Ford has trademarked and copyrighted.
    Update 2: Ford Sues Ferrari Over F150 Name - PickupTrucks.com News

    That was a mess that resulted in the announcers all season long having to refer to the car as the "Ferrari F150 Italia" instead of the F150.

    Funnily enough:

    Ironically I listed some Polk Audio subwoofers on ebay once and made the mistake of using a pic off of Polk's website instead of taking my own. Polk took offense to this and contacted Ebay and had my listing removed. Then they sent me a nasty gram that said if I ever did it again they'd sue me. What I didn't realize was re-purposing their photo without their expressed permission constituted copyright infringement because the photo was protected. Which is why if you troll ebay and find a pic stolen from the mfg's website you'll often see a watermark across it such as "www.bobsburgerbarn.com". The act of watermarking it is often enough of a modification to keep the powers that be happy.
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

    06 WRX, HAWKEYE # 001 <T-boned and sold>

    COILOVER TABLE
    TURBO TABLE

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