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Tattoos and IP

Intellectual Property Magazine

Tattoos and IP

FishmanStewart’s Barbara Mandell sheds light onthe occasions where IP could intersect with the age-old practice of body art

After graduating from college, my daughter moved toBurlington, Vermont, where she was a featured stand-up comic in Burlington andaround New England. One vestige of the Burlington period is her adoption ofbody art. My daughter recently informed me that the “tattoo community” has alot of questions and not a lot of answers about the respective intellectualproperty (IP) rights of those who sport the tattoos (the wearers), the tattooartists, the famous people depicted in the tattoos and the creators of theoriginal artwork depicted in the tattoos. So, recognising that this is not aheavily developed area of IP law, I say to my daughter and the “community” andto those who are merely “tattoo-curious”, here are some answers to herquestions.

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