View Full Version : Source for engravings and is it legal

Ron Taylor
03-18-2003, 5:00 PM
One of the things I intend to do once my shop is up and running is to build custom boxes for firearms. Having read the threads on this forum, I'm interested in obtaining discs with various manufacturers logos, Colt, Winchester, etc. engraved to be inlayed into box tops.

Can someone point me to a source, and is it legal?

03-18-2003, 6:41 PM
Hi Ron,

Are you saying that you'll be buying the logos and inlaying them, or using the logos to generate some laser engraving or something like that? If you're inlaying the actual purchased item, I don't see why there would be a legal issue as long as you don't use the item for marketing purposes (e.g. run an ad showing a Winchester logo).

If you're using the item to make some sort of copy or engraving, I doubt it's legal because you're using the trademark (as opposed to the purchased, licensed article) in your product. However, I doubt you'd ever be discovered and prosecuted if you keep the volume small and the marketing very low key. So it may amount to more of an ethical dilemma in that case I suppose.

I hope some lawyers in the Creek can provide better info.

Keith Outten
03-18-2003, 8:54 PM

I believe that in order to duplicate any logo that is copy protected you will need permission from the manufacturer. Since you are building a box to house their product you may be successful in obtaining their permissiion, your work just enhances their product.

Anyone who offers engraving services would be glad to make the logos for you if you could provide a copy of the written document with approval to use the logos on your boxes.

I engrave diplomas for high schools, colleges, etc. I can't use their logos but I can scan and duplicate your diploma for you since you own the document and you have the right to make a copy which includes their logo.

Ron Taylor
03-19-2003, 10:39 AM
Tim, what I'm hoping to do is take orders for custom presentation gun cases. I'd like to be able to optionally incorporate a manufacturer's logo into the box for my customer, the logo would be specific to the gun that he intends to store in the box.

Having read the threads here, it seems that laser engraved discs with the various logos would be the ideal method of accomplishing what I want to do. I'm hoping to locate someone who could supply me with the engraved discs.

To that end, I believe I understand Kieth to say that if I provide an original AND a letter authorizing me to use the copyrighted logo, there are engravers who could/would do the discs for me.

Kieth, are you saying that given the above, you could/would do the work for me. If not, can you steer me to someone would can. Should we take it to private???

Keith Outten
03-20-2003, 12:18 AM

I will contact you via Private Message

Matt Geraci
08-03-2015, 12:49 PM
I always check with owners of the logo before I engrave. Most of the time it's not a problem as I explain it's a gift for a customers wife or a limited run based on a specific customer request. I always send in sample pics of my work so they can see the quality of my engraving. They should and know their logo will be exact, not misrepresented or done in a poor fashion. Most companies have a dedicated set of branding rules that dictate logo size, proportion, exact fonts and colors. You can request those should they give you permission.

Some companies have been gracious and given me permission to use their logo for a limited run, some have given me blanket permission to use their logo anytime(they like the free advertising), some companies have had their lawyer message me and explicitly denied me permission to even think about their logo (!!!!). I made a mistake ONCE and was hounded by an unhappy company for a week, 3 different people emailed me, for using something that resembled their logo and from that point on it was not worth it. I generally do most of my own artwork, but I always ask if there's a copyright or trademark issue. Finding emails of company CEOs and marketing folks to check is fairly easy. Best of luck!

Bruce Clumpner
08-03-2015, 8:10 PM

Most large manufacturers have a licensing process for their trademark graphics. They're smart about it. Some manage it themselves, others hire management companies to manage it for them. And as everyone says, their enforcement varies. But the bottom line is that you must have written permission from the owner/agent to use any logo art that has a trademark, servicemark or copyright. It's just the price of doing business.

I work with 2 different license management companies for the service academies we license artwork from, and their processes are fairly easy to navigate for new license requests. Proven by the fact they actually issued a license to us! Each takes an application fee and a royalty % of each sale paid on a quarterly basis. It's funny, but we sell gun boxes with the school logos engraved in them. I currently purchase gun boxes from a vendor and laser engrave the collegiate logos myself. And each school needed to sign off on the appearance and design before anything went out the door.

It's a great market to be in, and we've done well so far, but you need to really work to publicize and market your products. And that's where they'll get you if you don't have permission. If they can find even one photo of an unlicensed sample on your web site, they've got you for commercial use and infringement. Take the high road and just build it into your business plan.

Happy to discuss off-line if you want. Just PM me.

Scott Shepherd
08-03-2015, 9:13 PM
Bruce, Ron asked the question 12 years ago! He hasn't logged in since 2009.

matthew knott
08-03-2015, 9:25 PM
"Brands of the World" google it ! lots of vector stuff on there, can you use them? Probably not legally.

Richard Rumancik
08-04-2015, 10:43 AM
I have always thought that old threads should be closed automatically. Why not close it for new posts after 12 months? After the first person mistakenly posts, it turns into a current discussion. Not everyone seems to agree with closing threads. Nothing like a little nostalgia I suppose.

Bruce Clumpner
08-04-2015, 12:56 PM
Bruce, Ron asked the question 12 years ago! He hasn't logged in since 2009.

Damn....Like they always say... Read everything before you comment.

Jebediah Eckert
08-04-2015, 1:52 PM
Bruce, Ron asked the question 12 years ago! He hasn't logged in since 2009.

For some reason I get a huge kick out of this when it happens. I often sit and ponder, way to long, the thought process behind revamping really old threads. This one it seems got started simply by overlooking the date (it happens), but how originally was it stumbled upon in order to reply?

Some old threads get updated when things change, I get that. A few weeks ago a 10 year old thread was reserected. The OP wanted help selecting a wood for a project. He got a very good response, but hopefully he has already at least started the project in the past 10 years, but then again who knows..........

Neville Stewart
08-06-2015, 8:20 AM
But look at all the fresh ideas and info that came out. I do agree though, I've tried to buy something in the classifieds that was long gone :-)