For example, could a company that painted cars do a custom paint job on a Honda and then paint the Honda logo on the hood? Let's assume the customer purchases a white Honda from the dealership, then a month later, without changing any of the car parts (so that everything is still Honda), the customer takes the car to a business that paints cars. The business paints the car black and then spray paints the trademarked Honda logo on the hood. Also assume that the business has no licensing agreement with Honda to use the Honda logo.
Could this be fair use? The car painting business is putting the Honda logo on a Honda car, it's not like it's putting the Honda logo on a Toyota.
What if the car painting business bought a large decal of the Honda logo from Honda and affixed that to the hood (but the painting business had only purchased the decal and had not gotten permission from Honda to use it in the business)? Would the fact that the car painting business paid for the decal change anything? Could that act like a royalty?
And what about this? Say the white Honda car had a black Honda trademark decal on the hood. What if the customer now wanted a black Honda car with a white Honda trademark decal on the hood, so the business paints the Honda black, buys a black Honda decal, paints the decal white, and then puts that on the car? Would it change anything that now the business has put the decal right where there was a very similar decal before?
I'm interested in this hypo because I think it can help tease out some of the intricacies of trademark law. On the one hand, this seems like a trademark violation because the company is using Honda's trademark in a commercial setting without Honda's permission. Yet, on the other hand, the Honda trademark is being put on a Honda product.
Any ideas? Does anyone know of any similar cases?