Is it illegal to make profit out of purchased government logos?
June 16, 2012 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Is it illegal to make profit of products carrying a government logo?

I've bought few government logo patches from eBay, and today I am wondering if it is considered illegal to make profit out of clothes patched with those government logos, i.e. C.I.A. logos. I understand if I stole the logo image from the internet then make profit out of it is illegal, but is that so even after I purchased the logo patches?
posted by delasoull to Law & Government (4 answers total)
Depends on the Agency and logo, here's the relevant law for the CIA:

Prohibited acts
No person may, except with the written permission of the Director, knowingly use the words “Central Intelligence Agency”, the initials “CIA”, the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency, or any colorable imitation of such words, initials, or seal in connection with any merchandise, impersonation, solicitation, or commercial activity in a manner reasonably calculated to convey the impression that such use is approved, endorsed, or authorized by the Central Intelligence Agency.
posted by empath at 4:02 PM on June 16, 2012

IANAL, though, so if you want to be safe, I would contact the public affairs office of the relevant agency. They should be able to help you.
posted by empath at 4:03 PM on June 16, 2012

In this case, how about K-9 Unit logo patches from federal or state governments? I was planning to make few sweaters with it and see if it comes out nice. If it came out really nice, I was considering selling some in eBay or etsy or any other online marketplace.
posted by delasoull at 4:37 PM on June 16, 2012

Call them and ask. I'm sure sweaters would be fine, as long as they don't look like the kind of thing police would wear in the field.
posted by empath at 5:02 PM on June 16, 2012

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