Most cartoon characters, company symbols, and logos are protected by either copyright or trademark law. Using them, especially for financial gain (which happens when you use them in nail art you sell to clients), is often illegal. And although most companies or organizations won’t find out you’re infringing on their copyright or trademark, some major corporations are known for seeking out all infringements, big and small.
Make sure you aren’t breaking the law (and that you’re avoiding future injunctions and fines) by following a few simple steps. Below, Laura Campos, a nail tech from Gainesville, Fla., and fan of the University of Florida, tells you how to go about legally using trademarked material:
1. Get permission from the copyright/trademark holder. "In my case with the University of Florida, I contacted the University Athletic Association by phone."
2. Fill out all of the required paper work. "I was sent a licensing agreement to fill out; it included what I was going to use them for and samples of a finished product. I sent a couple of Gator nails I had done as well as a bracelet I had made."
3. Pay the annual licensing fee. "Often, there is an annual feel that must be paid as well. In my case it was $50."