Could I publish an image in a book of someone else's character if it is redrawn as a stuffed animal? 3 Answers as of August 12, 2015

I am a small business owner of a publishing company. We are about to publish our first book, but as I go through it, I realize that it contains a stuffed animal version of the highly recognizable (to my target demographic) character Pikachu from the cartoon Pokemon. The image in question is hand drawn by one of our artists and does not represent the character, but is merely something that might normally be found in the situation it is in (it is located on a young teenage girl's bed and helps identify her as cute). I would like to keep it in because it does help showcase the character but I am afraid that despite Pikachu's ubiquity this is infringement, however I would like to know for sure. Thank you for your time.

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Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
If the image you want to include makes you think of the other character, you are probably violating copyright or trademark rights. You have a lot of other options to establish the mood you intend. Alternatively, contact the company that owns the Pok?mon character and pay for a license to use the image your artist has drawn.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/12/2015
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
If the character is "highly recognizable" then you should get permission because the owner of the character may believe that a person would be purchasing the book because they believe that it is endorsed by the owner of the character.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/12/2015
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
Take it out to avoid potential litigation.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 8/12/2015
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