Can I sell a custom print shoes from a major company as a webhost with an iconic site? 5 Answers as of September 14, 2017

I own a website that features a comic strip. Can I order custom print converse shoes with my logo and sell them online, or would the intended use of the custom print be for personal use only?

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Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
It is very likely that the custom print from Converse would be intended for your personal use. You would need permission from Converse to sell their shoes - even with your custom print - since the would still be Converse branded shoes - labeled as Converse. They control the trademark CONVERSE - as well as the "trade dress" - the look of the Converse shoe. Good luck with your project!
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 9/14/2017
McAlpine PLLC
McAlpine PLLC | Alonzo M. Alston, Esq.
I would want to see what the shoes look like and how your customizations change the trademarks and copyrights of Converse. Feel free to contact me about a consultation. Generally, you will have the right to resell the shoe because you purchased it. However, there could be instances where you may violate the Converse trademark and/or copyrights. You also need to make sure that you don't violate any of your states laws. I would need to know how and where you are selling the products, because your presence in another state through your sales operations may make you liable.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 9/14/2017
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Short answer is . . . yes, but . . . You will need to get permission from the owner of the trademark on the shoes (Converse) and the owner of the copyright on the custom print. And if there's any kind of patent on the particular style of shoe, you may need to get a release from that owner as well. Some companies see great benefit from permitting widespread distribution of their products; others severely restrict who can sell the product. If your comic strip is becoming well know, the shoe company may be willing to allow this kind of tie-in.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 9/14/2017
Lawyer for Independent Media
Lawyer for Independent Media | Sue Basko
The Nike Custom shoes site has a contact form. There is also a Nike Corporate Contact form. I suggest you get on there and ask this question. Simply state that you own this comic and you run a website and you would like to make custom Converse shoes to sell on your website. Ask if this is okay with them. Those shoes would be very expensive. You might want to consider custom printing items that would be much more affordable and easier to sell, such as t-shirts, posters, mugs, canvas bags. There are printers who will custom print your designs on a whole list of products. Some of the printing companies even have a store interface that you can set up onto your website. Some of the printing companies will fulfill your orders and ship them. All that means no upfront money from you and almost no work other than setting up your online shop and emailing in your art. A canvas tote may not be as cool as shoes, but there are far fewer factors involved, such as fit, which is a biggie for shoes. If people really want the comic for their shoes, you might be better off to custom license use of the comic per order, which should put the responsibility for size onto the customer and the responsibility for the shoe onto the shoe company. Whichever route you go, I wish you much success and happiness.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/14/2017
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
If you are not the creator of the comic strip you may be infringing on the copyrights of the owner, regardless of the personal use or sale. If you order Converse shoes from Converse then you have paid them for their intellectual property. You can then custom print on the shoes as long as the custom print is not owned by another.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/13/2017
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