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Using Trademarks

In addition to copyright, you should also note that some artistic works may also be registered trade marks. For example, Nike’s swoosh logo enjoys protection as an artistic work as well as a registered trade mark.

However, the use of registered trade marks would not amount to infringement if such use:

  • constitutes fair use in comparative commercial advertising;
  • is for non-commercial purpose; or
  • is for the purpose of news reporting/commentary.

If your use of the trade mark is in the context of a private and non-commercial activity which is not carried out with a view to obtaining an economic advantage, this would not amount to trade mark infringement.

For example, if a student uses trade mark of Coca-Cola in an assignment on American culture and iconic symbols, the use of the trade mark in such a context is non-commercial and as such, does not constitute trade mark infringement.