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Question

My company bought a vector from Shutterstock and wants to trademark it by adding some words with different colors.

Do you know anything about if this is legal since we purchase the vector art?

2014/10/07
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10/7/2014 7:23:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Perhaps you failed to notice "Copyright: PureSolution" on the Shutterstock page.

In 99% of all cases you can not trademark or copyright royalty free artwork.

What you "purchased" was the right to use the artwork in a limited fashion not ownership of the image. You should read the agreement for any stock image service you are using. Reading the Shutterstock agreement (http://www.shutterstock.com/licensing.mhtml) would inform you that you do not own the image or have any legal claim to said image.

So, short answer, No, you can not trademark or copyright an image from a stock image service.

2014/10/04
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10/4/2014 3:09:00 AM

Part II of the Terms of Service states

YOU MAY NOT:

[...]

  1. Use any Image (in whole or in part) as a trademark, service mark, logo, or other indication of origin, or as part thereof, or to otherwise endorse or imply the endorsement of any goods and/or services.

The license comparison page states the following:

What is not allowed with Shutterstock Licenses?

Print on demand products (t-shirts, mugs, etc.)

Sensitive Subjects

  • Pornography, defamatory or otherwise unlawful or immoral content, or infringement on a third party’s trademark or intellectual property.
  • Using images of recognizable people for sensitive subjects such as: tobacco products ads, adult entertainment and escort services ads, political endorsements, in advertisements or promotional materials for pharmaceutical or healthcare, uses that are defamatory, or contain otherwise unlawful, offensive or immoral content.

Web resolution that exceeds the display resolution of the intended viewing device

Non-editorial use of images marked Editorial Use Only

Logos, trademark, or similar applications of images

Italic emphasis mine. So this usage is actually explicitly disallowed.

2014/10/04