Disney is a theme that permeates our culture, and it’s not surprising that we receive regular requests for its various characters and images on custom urns. Elements that reflect and help preserve the memories of a life are exactly what we look for when designing a custom urn. What we have to consider during this process is the difference between putting a baseball bat vs. the Dodgers’ logo on an urn—the Dodgers have a trademark.
Trademarks are not always insurmountable barriers, but trademark law is intended to make the identity of a product or service exclusive. Mickey is trademarked, the same as Budweiser, Hello Kitty, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, New Kids on the Block, Fighting Irish (actually Notre Dame has a trademark on the word “Irish”), Lamborghini, and the NFL.
Trademarked material can be used with permission. That permission typically comes in the form of a license that is usually only granted for the sale of official merchandise. While we don’t know if Disney makes urns of its own, we do know that we don’t sell Disney urns as we do not have a license to do so. Une Belle Vie creates custom artistic urns, and we wouldn’t want to create a memorial for your loved one that could potentially go against Disney (or any other) brand.
Disney is by far our most common trademarked request, and we have reached out to them in the past to seek a license. Disney executives clarified their position and stated that Mickey was reserved for use at the Happiest Place on Earth – Disneyland.
Trademarks protect us all.
We know what kind of food to expect when we see the golden arches—whether we’re in Florida or Colorado. If anyone could put up the same logo we wouldn’t even be certain to find food inside. The same goes for products we buy and use every day of our lives. Trademarks serve as information shortcuts for consumers. Their ability to distinguish a source ensures that a product’s maker receives the rewards of the reputation it has built and enables you, the consumer, to recognize and repurchase goods with which you have previously been satisfied.
Une Belle Vie is happy to assist with acquiring permissions when and where we can.
We do reach out and make contact with companies that our customers would like to have represented on their purchases. We are limited though by the trademark owners’ responses, whether they’re willing to grant permission or whether we’re able to reach them at all.
Alternatives to Using Trademarked Materials in a Custom Memorial
Trademark laws do nothing to limit the shrines and collections enthusiasts create in their homes. When a trademark license can’t be obtained, a theme can still be established involving a custom urn. This can be a nice way to keep separate the secondary elements of the shrine area and the sacred focal point. The decorative elements might be photos, jerseys, records, trophies, or musical instruments, and serve as a collection of memories to surround the custom urn centerpiece.
Throughout our gallery of artistic urns, you will find many pieces that have become cherished memorials for loved ones including:
- sports sculptures (footballs, baseballs, golf, and even bowling balls)
- gender specific art such as our Diva line including shoes and handbags
- as well as a wide range of other iconic items such as police call boxes, sewing machines, and space themed painted urns.
Many of the urns in our existing gallery originated from or were inspired by custom urn requests—the core of our services in helping others celebrate the lives of their loved ones. Custom urns can be painted, sculpted, embellished with bling, or even be created by converting an existing item into a memorial.
If you are looking for a suitable memorial for your loved one, reach out to us to discuss creating a custom urn to celebrate their beautiful life.