We often hear from friends in the community, asking whether it would be OK to use various FTAF designs, images, or slogans. We understand these issues can be confusing. So, we’re attempting here to explain things as best we can, and to provide answers to some of the questions we hear most frequently.

What’s the difference between copyright and trademark?

Copyright protects certain types of original expression, such as literary works; musical works; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; and audio-visual works. Examples of FTAF material subject to copyright protection include: photographs; website text; the “I {heart} a tubie” logo; and our “What We Want You To Know” guide. Generally speaking, unless a legal exception applies, you need permission from the copyright owner (a “license”) if you want to reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform or display work that is protected by copyright.

A trademark is anything used to identify the source of particular goods or services. Words, slogans, logos, sounds, smells and colors can all function as trademarks. A trademark distinguishes one organization’s goods and services from those of others. It is important for FTAF to protect its trademarks to preserve their integrity and FTAF’s brand identity. If consumers confuse somebody else’s product with a similar FTAF product or service, our brand and reputation suffer. And if that happens, our mission suffers as well.

Usage, Generally

If you purchase a FTAF product, of course you may use that product for its intended purpose. Sometimes, though, friends ask whether they can modify the product to insert their own name, brand or other information. When the product in question contains a FTAF trademark, we often have to say no.

Slogans and sayings that function as trademarks for FTAF, Inc. are subject to all the provisions of US trademark law – and the law is rather strict. One thing we cannot do is permit our trademarks to be used in connection with other brands. Why? Because trademarks serve as “indicators of source” (see our trademark explanation, above). If the public sees our trademark together with yours, or that of another business, there can be confusion as to source. For example, if you are conducting a fundraiser and our trademark appears with yours, potential donors might think that FTAF, Inc. is sponsoring the event.

You cannot manufacture your own merchandise with FTAF trademarks, nor can you distribute FTAF products in any way that confuses the public as to their source. For example, you cannot call your store, web page or social media page I HEART A TUBIE or FEEDING TUBE AWARENESS FOUNDATION or FEEDING TUBE AWARENESS WEEK because those terms serve as indicators that FTAF, Inc. is the source of the content.

We don’t love that trademark law imposes these restrictions, but it does. And we must abide by the law in order to protect our brand and our mission. Whenever possible we will consider workable solutions that might allow us to grant requests for use. So, feel free to ask; we consider each request on a case-by-case basis.

Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation, Inc. (FTAF) holds the following registrations:

Trademark: (U.S. Reg. No. 4221661)

Trademark: “I [heart] A Tubie” logo (U.S. Reg. No. 4379618 )
Copyright: (U.S Reg. No. VA 1-810-268)

Trademark for the extension set heart without any specific color: (U.S. Reg. No. 6552717)

Trademark: The words FEEDING TUBE AWARENESS FOUNDATION (U.S. Reg. No. 4398076)

Trademark: The words FEEDING TUBE AWARENESS WEEK (U.S. Reg. No. 4173272). See the usage guidelines specific to Feeding Tube Awareness Week.

Usage, More Specifically:

​Entities and organizations formally associated with Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation, Inc., as defined by the FTAF Board, may use the heart and extension set logo to promote their support of and relationship with the Foundation. Such use requires prior written authorization from the FTAF Board or the Executive Director, and must in all respects comply with the terms and conditions of such written authorization.

At this time, 3E Love has an exclusive relationship with FTAF to produce and distribute official FTAF merchandise. Unauthorized use of any FTAF trademark or copyrighted work on merchandise is strictly prohibited.

​Please contact us at info@feedingtubeawareness.org for more information.