Consider Other Rights
Other rights may arise with:
- images of people (publicity)
- company slogans and logos (trademark)
- novel ideas and inventions (patent)
Right of Publicity
Many states recognize an individual's right to govern how his
or her name, image, voice, or other identifying characteristics
(as a whole termed the "persona") may be used.
State Laws: The laws of each state vary widely, and if a project
is intended for wide distribution, such as on the internet, it
is recommended that the project be able to clear the law of the
state with the most restrictive law in this area.
If you are not sure if your use of someone's likeness in your
project is appropriate, it is recommended that you route your
question to the Attorney General's office for a legal opinion.
Under Washington State Law every individual
or personality has a "property right in the use of his or
her name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness, and such
right shall be freely transferable, assignable and licensable,
in whole or in part". This right survives the death of the
individual or personality and exists whether or not the right
was commercially exploited during the individual's or personality's
lifetime. Use of the persona of any person, on or in goods or
products, advertising, or fund raising, without permission of
the owner of the right, constitutes an infringement. The infringement
may occur even if the activity is not for profit.
Names in the News: Many educational, newsworthy and public interest
uses may be made without permission, however, this should not
be interpreted as a blanket exemption for any and all educational,
newsworthy or public interest uses. If your project contemplates
unrestricted publication or dissemination of works containing
images and characteristics of individuals or personalities, it
is recommended that you obtain permission for current and possible
future uses as you are creating the project. This will enable
you to ensure your work is publishable and eliminate the need
to go back and obtain permissions in the future if a new use arises.
A trademark is a symbol used to identify and distinguish the source
of a product.
Service mark is the same as a trademark except
that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather
than a product.
The mark itself may be a word, acronym, phrase, or design, or a
combination of these elements. Trademarks are generally marked with
the symbol "TM" ("SM" for service mark) or "®"
for federally registered marks.
Using Copyrights Which Contain Trademarks: In
using copyrighted works that also contain trademarks, such as
images depicting logos or cartoon characters, care must be taken
to ensure that your use of the trademark does not infringe the
rights of the owner or infer an association between your project
and the owner of the mark. For example, if you build a site that
provides troubleshooting tips for Microsoft Word and you include
logos from Microsoft, this might be an infringement because use
of the logo might lead some to believe that your site is operated
by, associated with, or endorsed by Microsoft. Quite simply, if
you aren't affiliated with a company, don't use their logos on
University of Washington Trademarks
The University of Washington controls the use of its trademarks.
This includes the following:
- Husky logos,
- Name "University of Washington" and
- Letters "UW" in certain fonts and styles.
Use & Permission: The University allows its
trademarks to be used in official publications of the University
and other uses deemed appropriate. If you are interested in using
the University's name or logos in your project, you need to read
the rules and adhere to certain use requirements. Most uses require
permission from Publication Services.
The U.S. government grants exclusive rights to useful, new, and
non-obvious inventions or designs in the form of a patent.
- A patent may be granted to anyone who "invents or discovers
any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition
of matter, or any new and useful improvements thereof."
- The owner of a patent can prevent others from the manufacture,
use, offer for sale, or sale of the patented invention in the
U.S. and the importation into the U.S. of the same.
Copyrights & Patents:
If a patent has been obtained on an idea, anyone wishing
to use the idea must obtain a license to use the invention, even
if the use is unintentional or without knowledge that a patent exists.
Contact UW TechTransfer for any questions about creation or use
of patentable inventions.