[QUOTE=Incid] What about trivia games in regards to trademarks? Surely you can use "Microsoft", "Super Mario", etc. as answers in a trivia game without legal repercussion.[/QUOTE]
I did some digging and the answer appears to be "maybe." There are a few short discussions on the legal advice site Avvo, one of which is here:Why is it Legal to Create Trivia Games of Other People's Tradmarks?
The crux is whether your game falls under "nominative use
," defined as using "the trademark of another as a reference to describe the other product, or to compare it to their own."
This defense was first described in the case of New Kids on the Block vs News America Publishing, Inc.
, although it was further developed in later cases. As Wikipedia summarizes, the following three criteria must apply:
1. The product or service cannot be readily identified without using the trademark (e.g. trademark is descriptive of a person, place, or product attribute).
2. The user only uses as much of the mark as is necessary for the identification (e.g. the words but not the font or symbol).
3. The user does nothing to suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. This applies even if the nominative use is commercial, and the same test applies for metatags.RandomExile2013-10-14 21:13:54