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Trademark and copyright

NWHNWH Posts: 43Member ✭✭
Being in this business for quite a while we have been ask how to start a hydro business.
Which has been covered on this forum numerous times from permits, state license,  ffl. But not a lot about Trademark and copyright images and film.

I noticed that there are quite a few new sellers out there that are using and selling trademark and copyright images from Realtree, Mossy oak, multicam, Atacs and the list can go on.

But if you buy these films and use them on a project you are setting your self up for a lawsuit. I have been on both sides of this issue and it can be very expensive.

It is your responsibility to no if it is a fake or you are allowed to use it.

My corporation owns roughly about 10 or so trademarks we do this to protect our business and increase or business worth.

I would like to here from others on your thoughts on this topic.

Comments

  • DeviousDipsDeviousDips Posts: 1,402Member ✭✭✭✭
    @NWH if your not licensed through real tree then you should not be dipping that one. Mossy oak you can buy from Big Brain but not enough for production runs. For large orders you would have to be licensed from them also
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 5,854Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    I myself wouldn't do it unless it was for something for personal use or a close friend. But you are pissing into a hurricane. China does not give one solitary turd about your copyright, and good luck trying to track them down. Coke, Harley Davidson, RealTree and hundreds of thousands of others can't stop it from happening... what chance do you have? So fly under the radar and make your money... and keep it off Facebook.
  • NWHNWH Posts: 43Member ✭✭
    edited October 2017
    I was not asking if or how to get away with it I was trying to explain that although very compelling to use these films that you unknowingly could be opening a can of worms that could put you out of business very quickly.
    As for licensing I have been licensed with Mossy oak long before Big Brain was selling it in which Mossy oak essentially broke there agreement with all the dippers that paid them to dip there patterns

  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,923Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    edited October 2017
    Good thread. I’m curious about what the general consensus was among previously licensed decorators. It would be a big kick in the **badword** if Realtree decided to do the same. I have geared my business for high volume production, so the small Orders of Mossy Oak through big Brain didn’t deter me from moving forward w licensing. This year we licensed with both Realtree and Mossy Oak. Great investments for my company. MuliCam and ATACS are both readily available through TWN once you set up an account with them. No special licensing or royalties for us to use them. Are you referring to the knock-off patterns available? I know some companies WILL require OEM’s to license with a brand to market using the Camo name. Haven’t heard of dippers being held responsible for that end though. Could you elaborate on your situation? I definitely want to cover my butt.

    Edit: and when you say you own 10 or so “trademarks” are you meaning that you’re licensed to use various brands of films? I didn’t know there were that many brands which require decorators to be licensed! I need to up my game...
  • NWHNWH Posts: 43Member ✭✭
    Good thread. I’m curious about what the general consensus was among previously licensed decorators. It would be a big kick in the **badword** if Realtree decided to do the same. I have geared my business for high volume production, so the small Orders of Mossy Oak through big Brain didn’t deter me from moving forward w licensing. This year we licensed with both Realtree and Mossy Oak. Great investments for my company. MuliCam and ATACS are both readily available through TWN once you set up an account with them. No special licensing or royalties for us to use them. Are you referring to the knock-off patterns available? I know some companies WILL require OEM’s to license with a brand to market using the Camo name. Haven’t heard of dippers being held responsible for that end though. Could you elaborate on your situation? I definitely want to cover my butt. Edit: and when you say you own 10 or so “trademarks” are you meaning that you’re licensed to use various brands of films? I didn’t know there were that many brands which require decorators to be licensed! I need to up my game...
    When most of us got licensed through Mossy oak we could not do oem work only after market so by allowing Big Brain to sell to anyone they screwed all processor's that paid into their BS 
    As for all the knock off coming into the market those dippers that are using these patterns are putting their necks on the chopping block
    As for our tradmarks our company's name is trademark also our other products and upcoming products.
  • DeviousDipsDeviousDips Posts: 1,402Member ✭✭✭✭
    @NWH just curious are you Northwest HydroPrint?
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 937Member ✭✭✭
    Just to be clear, are you saying that if you buy say a Kuiu Camo pattern from TWN, and use it on an item, then sell that item, you would be in conflict with trademark rights?
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,923Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator

    Just to be clear, are you saying that if you buy say a Kuiu Camo pattern from TWN, and use it on an item, then sell that item, you would be in conflict with trademark rights?

    No, you should be fine. If you want to market an item (NorCalFrank's Super Rifle Stock) and dip hundreds of them and use the Kuiu branding and trade marks on your items, THEN contact them and clarify if it's ok. Or if an OEM like Browning wanted to run thousands of parts in Kuiu and market the parts using with Kuiu name and branding, then Browning would be required to check with Kuiu to see if licensing is required. Once you have an account with TWN, you're fine to use their films on aftermarket decorating. If you get a contract with an OEM, make sure you let them know they need to check with the company before you run thousands of parts. The camo company may or may not require further licensing. I've only ran into this a couple times.
  • norcalfranknorcalfrank Posts: 937Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks Joe for the clarification.
  • NWHNWH Posts: 43Member ✭✭
    Just to be clear, are you saying that if you buy say a Kuiu Camo pattern from TWN, and use it on an item, then sell that item, you would be in conflict with trademark rights?
    No, you should be fine. If you want to market an item (NorCalFrank's Super Rifle Stock) and dip hundreds of them and use the Kuiu branding and trade marks on your items, THEN contact them and clarify if it's ok. Or if an OEM like Browning wanted to run thousands of parts in Kuiu and market the parts using with Kuiu name and branding, then Browning would be required to check with Kuiu to see if licensing is required. Once you have an account with TWN, you're fine to use their films on aftermarket decorating. If you get a contract with an OEM, make sure you let them know they need to check with the company before you run thousands of parts. The camo company may or may not require further licensing. I've only ran into this a couple times.
    This is correct when you buy from TWN and others typically you pay a royalty per meter.

    But I have seen places sell Realtree and calling it real woods or early fall and so on every image that is out there someone owns a copyright unless you actually draw or take the photo.
  • NWHNWH Posts: 43Member ✭✭
    @NWH just curious are you Northwest HydroPrint?
    Yes
  • DeviousDipsDeviousDips Posts: 1,402Member ✭✭✭✭
    @NWH your team does great work
  • NWHNWH Posts: 43Member ✭✭

    @NWH your team does great work

    Thanks.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 12,753Administrator El Jefe
    Personally, we are having a harder and harder time pushing our customers to get "Royalty" patterns on their products...when they run the numbers it doesn't make sense to them and they inevitably go with a "generic" pattern...so all is not lost if you are not licensed...we aren't but it's not because we don't want to...they just don't like my approach to business...as in teaching people...lol...so they told me I don't really fit their business plan...so we push our customers towards the generics instead of the licensed products...sometime we can even talk our customers out of continuing with a licensed product...like Mudjug's...they used to use RealTree on several Jugs...and when RealTree told me no? Mudjug phased out the patterns...

    SO my point is a definite YES when you want to do things legally...BUT that's doesn't mean you will lose a contract when you can't get a licensed film...you can shift your customers too many of the other unlicensed films...and there are a lot...
  • NWHNWH Posts: 43Member ✭✭

    Personally, we are having a harder and harder time pushing our customers to get "Royalty" patterns on their products...when they run the numbers it doesn't make sense to them and they inevitably go with a "generic" pattern...so all is not lost if you are not licensed...we aren't but it's not because we don't want to...they just don't like my approach to business...as in teaching people...lol...so they told me I don't really fit their business plan...so we push our customers towards the generics instead of the licensed products...sometime we can even talk our customers out of continuing with a licensed product...like Mudjug's...they used to use RealTree on several Jugs...and when RealTree told me no? Mudjug phased out the patterns...

    SO my point is a definite YES when you want to do things legally...BUT that's doesn't mean you will lose a contract when you can't get a licensed film...you can shift your customers too many of the other unlicensed films...and there are a lot...

    I can't agree more with K2 on this.

    But I think everyone is somewhat missing my point there are numerous supply sellers that are importing film and selling nowadays and they are selling name brand films that they legally should not be selling I am just trying to let everyone know that as the camo industry gets more and more crowded that the big name companies are going to protect there interest and they won't care if you bought the pattern from joe shmo hydrographics supply you to will be held legally responsible for infringement.
    Even just looking at some sponsors here there are a few selling films from Real Tree, Multi Cam, Atacs and others you just need to be careful that if using these patterns or other name brand pattern ( all though the seller may call it something else) that you could be held for damages.
  • K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 12,753Administrator El Jefe
    Yea most of those suppliers get a C&D letter once a month...hell I didn't even get a letter...just a law suit dropped in my lap...
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,923Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    It’s funny tho... as soon as I got licensed? That’s all I’ve dipped. And to be honest the Mossy Oak and Realtree films dip spectacular so far. Even Custom Work has been 90% Realtree or Mossy Oak, and I charge a flat 20% more for those two. People ask for it, and we can say yes. They want the name because that’s what they know.

    But... when we weren’t licensed? It was easy enough to show them other patterns made by NEXT or other companies, and they liked it just fine also. Now I can just say “Yes! We can do that!”
  • MidOhioHydrographicsMidOhioHydrographics Posts: 8,923Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    I also think having the licensing of larger well known name brands helps with appeal to larger OEMs. Much like how having a legitimate shop and professional equipment looks more stable and safe to larger customers looking to have parts decorated.
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