Common Christmas IP and Trademark Violations list

Christmas, community, Copyright, IP, print on demand, strategy, tactics, TM, Trademark -

Common Christmas IP and Trademark Violations list

While Rudolph's Name isn’t trademarked, heavy debate on the subject lead me to a giant hunt for what is and isn’t safe to market on the Holidays. While their isn’t a live TM he is intellectual property and massive amounts of takedown notices are sent out every year to protect his image. Common character images and TMs on everyday words makes everyone concerned on what is and isn’t safe, while this isn’t a complete list of do’s and don’ts it is a great start if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the legalities surrounding the holidays.

Active TM’s

Avoid: Any direct quotes or characters from movies or songs as they are copyrighted.
 Santa Clause is a movie title so be careful! Avoid using a reindeer with a red nose, elf on a shelf as well! They are known to send out massive takedown notices to protect their images. Also make note to avoid lyrics from popular holiday songs.

Avoid: Parody has its legalities and place in the world, however, Amazon and other print on demand platforms have made it very clear that they aren’t a fan of parody or using anything remotely close to someones logo or intellectual property. Merch by Amazon doesn’t leave room for debate on the subject so I would recommend staying away from it any time of the year to keep your account in good standing.

Try These Ideas

  • Things Dabbing Apparently it’s still cool!

  • Put a Santa hat on it! Can you integrate a hat into any of your existing best selling designs? If not try: unicorns, T-Rex, penguins, dogs, cats, skateboards, any hobby just throw a hat on it.

  • Ugly Christmas Shirts are the new sweater, just watch out for the TM’d phrases above! (Already sold 15 of these monstrosities)

  • Father Christmas

  • Snowmen

  • Elves

  • Naughty and Nice
Matching Family shirts for portraits<< These sell like Crazy on Etsy, are you maximizing your potential on Etsy?

At the end of the day holidays do very well for themselves but most people are buying gifts or decorations. Decorations can include family shirts, pajama shirts that are holiday themed. Gifts can be Christmas themed but for the most part they revolve around your hobbies and interests, they’re something you’ll use year round. I would recommend doing some trending and holiday shirts but to really focus on building your evergreen base because things that sell year round are going to give you the most consistency in your business. 

 Make sure to comment below if you have any suggestions to add to the list as its ever growing, and do note that this list isn't foolproof always do your research and make sure your designs are safe.