Where can I find the Customonopoly forms?

  • Click HERE for the form for ammending existing prints.
  • Click HERE for the form for creating a one-off print.

Is there any guidance on creating a print?

  • Click HERE to download our guide with advice on creating a print.
  • Click HERE to download our blank Customonopoly print.

How can you make these art prints?

There’s really only one other question, it comes in different forms, We’ll do our best to answer the question(s) here.

  • Is it legal?
  • What about Copyright?
  • What about Trademark?
  • What about Waddington’s/Parker Brothers/Hasbro?

History

The game itself has roots as far back as 1903 with ‘The Landlord’s Game’, which was patented in the USA in 1904 and produced in 1906 by Maggie Phillips. It was further patented in 1924 after houses were added. In the early 1930’s a family friend Charles Darrow visited and played the game and asked for a set of rules when he left. Charles then created his own game ‘Monopoly’.

In 1933 Parker Brothers produced a version of the game, based on the Landlord’s Game (rather than Darrow’s) but called Monopoly and by 1935 the familiar board had been conceived.

In 1936 Parker Brothers licenced the game for the first time to Waddington’s and the British Version of the game was produced, which is arguably the most well known.

In 1973, a game called Anti-Monopoly was conceived (it is still produced today) and Parker Brothers sued the makers for trademark infringement in 1974. The case went to trial in 1976 and appeal in 1979, where the Supreme Court determined the term ‘Monopoly’ was generic and the makers of Anti-Monopoly won the case. However, in 1984, that decision was somewhat overturned and Hasbro hold various valid trademarks for Monopoly.

What are the Trademarks?

Monopoly is protected by a plethora of US trademark registrations. It’s important to firstly state that, a trademark registration does not grant the owner a true monopoly. But it does grant a powerful swath of rights to the owner.

The trademarks are (at a high level)

  1. Monopoly (the word)
  2. Chance Square
  3. Money Design (the notes)
  4. Go to Jail Square
  5. Free Parking Square
  6. In Jail/Just Visiting Square
  7. Community Chest Square
  8. Street Square (i.e. Mayfair)
  9. The Board (Old Version)
  10. The Board (Newer Version)
  11. Picture of a Train
  12. The Title Deed Cards

In the above cases we at Customonopoly only need to talk about numbers, 1 & 9 because we don’t have any of the other items on our prints, we use our own custom art – which is the whole point.

So if we revisit the two points in question,

  1. Monopoly
  2. The Board (Old Version)

The trademark for these items clearly states (as it does for ALL items) that the Trademark refers to these items for:

BOARD GAME PLAYED WITH MOVABLE PIECES] * EQUIPMENT COMPRISING A BOARD AND MOVABLE PIECES FOR USE IN PLAYING A REAL ESTATE TRADING GAME

Or

“EQUIPMENT SOLD AS A UNIT FOR PLAYING A BOARD GAME”  (Source)

We at Customonopoly do not produce a game, we produce an Art Print, which does not violate the Trademark detailing as described in the “Goods and Services” sections, as last renewed in 2015.

So going back to the questions:

  • Is it legal? - Yes.
  • What about Copyright?  - Copyright does offer intellectual property protection, but Copyright is geared toward literary and artistic works, such as books and videos.
  • What about Trademark? - A trademark DOES protect items that help define a company brand. Hasbro’s trademark relates to a Property Trading Board Game, not an Art Print.
  • What about Waddington’s/Parker Brothers/Hasbro? - See above.

Other points to consider.

  1. Furthermore, to ‘play’ our prints, a game of Monopoly would need to be purchased.
  2. One only has to search on sites like Etsy, Ebay or Not-on-the-High-Street to see unlicensed products for sale that use imagery of Hasbro’s protected works, either as coasters, cushions, posters or adjusted games.