Just a casual curiosity querie:
For sake of this e-mail I’ll call my mother’s next door neighbor “Uriah Purvis Simmons”. He has a small construction company specializing in home repairs and emblazoned on his truck is the company name: UPS Home Repair. (That’s not his real name and those aren’t his real initials, but his real initials are just as well known and the same as a corporate giant.)
He’s a nice guy and does good work and I would never do anything to get him into trouble, but out of curiosity can he do that? Is the fact that the famous/multibilliondollar corp. UPS (or, rather, the company that has the real same name as his initials/small business) is not involved in home repair and instruction enough in and of itself to protect him? Or the fact that a three letter phrase can’t be copyrighted or trademarked? Were he to use , say (using the UPS example) a brown truck with yellow writing and similar font, would that be a problem?
I’ve also wondered about the restaurant RUBY TUESDAYS. Did they have to get special permission from the Rolling Stones to use that or, since it was a title and didn’t use lyrics or melody, was it okay? If I wanted to open a chain of theme restaurants called ELEANOR RIGBY’S, would I have to get Sir Paul’s permission? And could I serve “Yellow Submarine Sandwich”, “Girl With Kaleidoscope Fries”, etc., without getting in trouble? Or if I wanted to have on the logo an old lady waiting by a window with a jar of makeup by the door, could I?
(I do remember there was a nasty dispute with a feminist bookstore called Amazon that predated Amazon.com but was asked to change their name, but since the bookstore still exists obviously they didn’t.)