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Ed Turner
Ed Turner,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1627
Experience:  Director and Consultant Solicitor (Self-Employed) at Ed Turner LLB Limited
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Can an item be sold on Amazon that displays the American

Customer Question

Can an item be sold on Amazon that displays the American flag? the item is made from plastic and would have the flag printed or in the form of a removeable sticker upon it?
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Ahh.. I think Amazon Online would cover all of the U.S. states
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None yet
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 17 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ed Turner replied 16 days ago.

Hello. I am Ed, a Solicitor qualified in England & Wales with over a decade’s experience in the legal profession advising clients.

I specialise in Commercial Contracts, Business Transactions, Employment, Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury and Road Traffic Law and shall be reviewing your legal problem today.

Regarding the site’s automatic offer of a Premium Service Phone Call, I shall be delighted to talk with you by phone to discuss your issue in greater detail if you accept the offer.

However, if you do not want a phone call, please cancel the offer for a Premium Service Phone Call and you will not be charged extra.

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 16 days ago.

To enable me to answer your query, please provide me with some further information.

Why may it be an issue for you and Amazon to sell and item with the American flag on it?

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 15 days ago.

I note that you have not replied to my request for further information. I shall therefore post a “general answer” to your type of legal issue. Please revert to me if I am mistaken as to your type of legal issue or if my answer does not fit the facts of your situation and I shall be delighted to amend my answer accordingly.

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 15 days ago.

Copyright arises naturally as soon as someone commits text to paper or computer screen. The copyright to the text of this conversation is owned by me! However, it is a very weak right and the burden of proving copying and direct financial loss because of the alleged infringement is very high.

There is no copyright in ideas per se until they are written down on paper.

Works such as book and film plot lines are protected by copyright, but it is very difficult to win these types of copyright infringement cases as long as the copying creators change enough of the plot, characters and dialogue so as the general reader, listener or viewer will know that the copied work is not by the same authors and is not a sequel or “spin-off”. There is a lucrative market in Direct-to-DVD “Mockbusters” which are clearly ripped-off from big budget Hollywood franchises: “Atlantic Rim” -v- “Pacific Rim” and “Transmorphers” -v- “Transformers” (!). Many a pulp novel writer has made a career out of stealing better authors’ ideas without being successfully sued. ***** ***** successfully defended a copyright claim by the authors of “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, the pseudo-historical book on the alleged real-life and genealogy of Jesus upon which Brown based the plot of his smash hit thriller, “The Da Vinci Code”.

There is also the risk of a competitor suing you under the Tort of “Passing Off” if your respective works are sufficiently similar to create confusion in the minds of the public to the extent that you are exploiting the other business’s goodwill in a way that could injure it.

Registering a piece of Intellectual Property as a Patent, Trademark or Design Right means that it is automatically protected from all other similar designs and the Right Holder does not have to prove deliberate copying by the other party.

You should investigate your competitors’ designs and images carefully to check whether they are protected by UK or International Trademarks, Design Rights, Patents and Creative Commons Licences. The creators’ own websites should assert what special IPRs protect their works and you can also search the following websites:

UK Intellectual Property Office:

World Intellectual Property Organisation:

EU Creative Commons:

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 15 days ago.

I hope this resolves your enquiry. Please revert to me if you require any clarification of my answer to your question and I shall be delighted to assist.

Otherwise, I shall be grateful if you will please mark your enquiry as “Closed” and give me a “Positive” rating to conclude this matter.

Kind regards