If I’m looking at starting a clothing business based off of a famous television show, is it legal to include the name of the show in my website’s URL?

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If I’m looking at starting a clothing business based off of a famous television show, is it legal to include the name of the show in my website’s URL?

I will not be using the trademark logo anywhere on the website or any pictures of characters from the show.

Asked on August 19, 2015 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, it is most likely not legal. Unfair competition law e.g the Lanham Act prevents anything which may confuse reasonable customers as to the source or affiliation of goods or services. Including the show's name in your URL as you have done or propose to do could cause a reasonable customer to think that your products are affiliated with or licensed by the show e.g. are "official" products, which could very easily comprise a violation of unfair competition law.


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