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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4077
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I need some legal advice about my online business startup on

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Hi, I need some legal advice about my online business startup on copyright and names etc I am based in the UK
JA: What written documentation do you have?
Customer: not much
JA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?
Customer: not yet nothing
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: nothing else
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
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Customer: replied 19 days ago.
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Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Hi,I am starting up an online website in the UK. It is a new business startup which I am working on and I am ready to launch soon. I am looking to sell some items online worldwide (especially in the UK as it is a British brand). I have decided to make a fashion brand where we sell items which look like what UK celebrities wear. E.g. 'Princess Diana style tiara' or 'Meghan Markle style wedding ring' or 'Sherlock Holmes hat' . In each display photo on my website, I am planning to use publicly circulated photos of the celebrity (not the entire photo, just close-ups of the item that they are wearing) to show the similarity in style with the 'unbranded' version I am selling. All my items are unbranded or they have oversea brand names which are unheard of. I am wondering, whether using celebrity names or movie names to sell my product would violate any laws? As I am still setting everything up I want to get some legal advice before I proceed as I do not want to do anything wrong. It would also be helpful if you can recommend anything for me to put on my website to stay out of trouble (and to make it clear that we are selling unbranded items with the same 'look' as UK celebrities.Thanks
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
In additional to my question above, I would also like to ask what is appropriate to put on Google or online adverts for my website too. E.g. If I was selling a hat which looked similar to the BBC Sherlock series, would it be appropriate to put 'Sherlock Holmes Style Hat' with a close-up photo of the hat in the series? Or would a photo of my stock hat by itself be more appropriate instead?
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
My startup website I am still working on is at which I am keeping a bit private and do not want to disclose too much as I am still correcting it. Please let me know some points on what I can change on it to avoid getting into legal trouble.
Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist your. Potential trading off the good will and name of another for a commercial gain falls under the law of passing off. Using the names in a discreet description is probably acceptable and would not draw too much attention to the issue - if you attaching the name to the brand as opposed to an incidental mention, then you may be liable for passing off. Can you give me any sceen shots or other examples? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Hi, thanks for your response. Yes I do have examples. I am still working on my website. You can see it at:
Please provide me with some feedback on it and what can be done to avoid legal trouble in 'passing off'.
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Here are some example pictures I am thinking about using. I am wondering whether they are ok for use. Do checkout the website I am working on to see what I need to improve on and change before I launch. Thanks
Thank you. Who owns the copyright to the photos? Did you buy them from Getty Images etc? Kind regards AJ
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Some images are random from Google, and some are from Getty images I think.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Just to clarify. The items displayed in the photos are from my suppliers. They are free for me to use. The background London photos are all royalty free images from canva (which are free to use too). However, the images of the celebrities are random press photos from google which everyone is using and circulating on their blogs and websites.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
what do you think when looking at the website?
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Do you see any potential legal issues when looking at my website?

Thank you. As they are incidental photos - and you are not directly naming the products after the celebs for example. Having these as worn or as seen in style ads - generally are unlikely to cause a serious complaint. If a celebrity even becomes aware, you would probably only get a letter demanding you stop. The most important thing, is that you have permission to use the photos from the people that took or own them. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Thanks much for your response. I usually name my products as 'James Bond style sunglasses' or 'Meghan Markle style ring' . Will the use of these names in the description or product title cause a problem as naming the products after them? (Final question)

Thanks -I would put these names in the description - the product title makes use of the name less incidental. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
the names should just be used in the description only (but just not in the product title?)

Thank you. To minimise risk - I think this is the right thing to do - i.e not draw too much attention. In any event - people will know from seeing the photo that there is a link to the celebrity. Will doing this affect your ad words and tags? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thanks for your reply. For my website, I could avoid using the names in the title (but mention the names briefly in the description). For the ad words, I may need to mention the names vaguely to make them show up E.g. 'Meghan Markle style ring' or 'Sherlock style hat'. Would this be a problem in the ads? (If the names are ***** ***** ads already, I could remove the names on my site)
Thank you. I think the risk is the same if you do this - ie if a celebrity took issue, you like receive a letter asking you to stop before any substantive action in court etc kind regards AJ
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Customer: replied 15 days ago.