Font naming

I've been coming here frequently and this is my first post. Here's my question.

If a company wants to use the name of one of my fonts for a new one they are creating do I need to give my permission?

I'm asking because a legal department of a large company contacted me asking if they call one of their fonts after mine?

Many thanks,

David

Comments

  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,404
    You will have to decide which is more advantageous to you—to keep the trademark or sell it.

    If you decide to sell, you should probably get a lawyer to draw up the contract.

    There may be a middle ground where you can keep the name (perhaps with a prefix) as well as licence the rights to someone else.
  • Do you "need" to give permission? Or do you want to give permission? Also, did you register the trademark?

    If I had a registered trademark, and if another company contacted me about using the equity in that trademark to benefit themselves, I'd certainly want adequate compensation for doing so. If the trademark wasn't registered, it might be more of an uphill battle, but I still wouldn't volunteer to give it away for free.
  • If they don't plan on trademarking it or selling it as a product, they can call it helvetica.
  • Many thanks for all of your responses.

    The font name isn't trademarked which probably means they don't really need to ask me if they can use it or not, they're probably just covering themselves for every eventuality.

    I'm only an individual and I can't afford legal help. The organisation who wants to use the name is huge, that's why I came on here to see if there's anything similar that you guys have come across in the past.

    They've sent over a letter of consent for me to sign.

    All the best,

    David
  • Before you sign a consent for them to use the name — which I assume is essentially an agreement not to contest their registration of that trademark — then you should make sure there is a clause that indemnifies you for your current use of the name and prevents them from later coming after you for infringing their trademark.
  • Thanks Kent for the advice. I'm pretty sure if they use the name they'll trademark it.
  • I'm only an individual and I can't afford legal help.
    It seems to me you can't not afford legal help. There maybe money in them there hills.
  • What James said.

    You could probably find a lawyer that would work on a contingency basis if he felt they would have to pay you a licensing fee to use the name. You can certainly find lawyers that will give you free first consultation. That would give you an idea of whether or not there is $$$ to be made. If there is, and you can find someone that will work on a contingency basis...even 50% of something you were going to pass on is a bonus. If they've contacted you and sent you a letter of consent, they obviously think you have some claim to the name. A huge corporation may be willing to license the name simply for "goodwill".
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