A trademark disclaimer is used by businesses to avoid confusion when using the trademarks of other companies. And if used properly, is an effective tool in decreasing one’s chances of trademark infringement.
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On websites and blogs, you will often see trademarks of other companies posted on their site for various reasons even though the website or blog as no relationship with them.
Some examples of this would be:
- When a website or blog says: As seen on Fox News, CBS, NBC, WALL STREET JOURNAL and includes the trademarked logos from these companies.
- Selling or repackaging the products of companies that are trademarked and using their trademarks on a website or blog.
- Using the trademarks of others for product or service comparisons and reviews.
Without an obvious trademark disclaimer posted on a website or blog, the owner runs the risk of trademark infringement if there is any confusion about the affiliation between the site owner and the trademark owner about the sale of products or services.
Since this area of the law is not necessarily always clear and definitive, it makes good legal sense to post a trademark disclaimer on your website or blog when using the trademarks of other companies.
Also, if you want your trademark disclaimer to help protect you legally, it must be posted “Clear and Conspicuous” on your website or blog as should all disclaimers and policies. Doing so will help avoid confusion when using the trademarks of others.
Putting a disclaimer in the footer of your website or blog is almost worthless and will provide you with little or no legal protection. By law, disclaimers must be posted in a “clear and conspicuous” position on your website or blog to be effective. The courts have generally found that clearly posted disclaimers can help decrease the likelihood of confusion and trademark infringement.