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Trademark Issues: Can You Make & Sell Dr. Seuss Themed Products?

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With Christmas coming, I know that so many craft businesses are currently working on holiday products. Today is a great day to talk about making handmade products related to Dr. Seuss and his characters; like the Grinch, the Lorax, Cindy Lou Who, Thing One and Thing Two, Sam-I-Am, and many more.

Can You Make and Sell Dr. Seuss Products?

Unfortunately, Dr. Seuss designs and quotes are not in the public domain and cannot be used on products for sale without written permission from Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Since Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) passed away in 1991, all licensing agreements are handled though Random House.

Licensing Information

I emailed Random House for information about the possibility of at home craft businesses obtaining a license to legally use Dr. Seuss quotes and images in products. I immediately received a generic response that included this statement:

“Please know that Dr. Seuss text, characters, and images are protected by copyright and trademark law and may not be used without the prior written consent of Dr. Seuss Enterprises.”

I also received an email back a few hours later from Jenna Marson, Licensing & Marketing Coordinator, that basically stated that Dr. Seuss Enterprises was not currently offering licenses and “due to contractual restrictions with our current licensees who produce items in these categories” they could not discuss requirements to get a license.

In response to Jenna, I asked if Dr. Seuss Enterprises ever offered licenses to small or home based businesses and what the hypothetical requirements would be. My email went unanswered.

If you’d like to reach out to Random House for information on licensing Dr. Seuss properties for your Silhouette or Cricut small business, reach them through this page.

I will continue to update this post if I receive additional information from Random House/Dr. Seuss Enterprises. In the meantime, know that selling handmade Dr. Seuss themed products without a licensing deal is an infringement and is illegal.

Can You Make and Sell Handmade Grinch and Other Dr. Seuss Products with Your Silhouette Portrait or Cameo and Cricut Explore or Maker - by cuttingforbusiness.com

Note: All images used in the featured image for this article were downloaded from Etsy. This is within copyright guidelines because this post is considered educational material.

Lisa Willey

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

I’m curious about the licensing aspect of Dr. Seuss themes. I see many Christmas yard art decorations for sale on websites, such as Etsy, by small businesses/private individuals. I spent weeks making grinch, Frosty, and Charlie Brown yard art for myself, but I’m not allowed to display them, so I’m exploring how to sell them. Thank you for your posts! Lisa

Lynn Johnson

Saturday 19th of November 2022

There is a Minky company in Utah called Aspen Grove that make and sell what is called Minky stuffies and they are selling one of the grinch you can find them on FB under Aspen Grove

juli

Friday 21st of October 2022

WHERE CAN I REPORT COPYRIGHT ABUSE?

Christine, Cutting for Business

Thursday 27th of October 2022

https://cuttingforbusiness.com/how-to-report-trademark-infringements/#:~:text=If%20you'd%20like%20to,and%20infringement%20you've%20seen.

Jen

Tuesday 12th of January 2021

Question I have is, I own a cricut for the specific purpose of making designer items for myself to wear. Like chanel masks,and Louis Vuitton masks and shirts and shoes. I dont sell these items but would like to showcase them on a blog page or a facebook group of my own. Can I get sued for this even though I dont take orders for selling.

Christine, Cutting for Business

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Hello! Unfortunately, yes. When using them to promote a blog or Facebook page, it is considered commercial use.

Lisa Horne

Sunday 29th of November 2020

How in the world do you get in touch with someone about a license to use artwork? Random House runs in circles. Seussville no longer has a link available for that info. Can you please direct me to where I can actually communicate with someone about licensing information for grinch artwork?

Christine, Cutting for Business

Sunday 29th of November 2020

Hello! I'm sorry to hear that contacting Random House is proving to be difficult. Alternatively, you could pull Grinch related trademarks from the TESS database and use the contact information listed in TESS. Hope this helps!