Character merchandising involves using the name or image of popular brands or fictional characters for commonplace products. For instance, printing images of Marvel Comics superheroes on t-shirts and other such clothing.
This act may be permitted where a valid licence agreement is in place. However, in many cases characters are attached to merchandise without such agreements. In such cases, legality and infringement issues may arise.
Legal protection in this area involves the law of passing off, providing a connection is established between the owner of the character and the alleged infringer.