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Licensing the Thomas Edison Legacy

Do I need a Thomas Edison license?

This is the most frequent leading question that we get. The short answer is, if you are planning to use Edison's name, image, quotes, or other intellectual property for commercial purposes, yes! Commercial purposes can include advertisements, branding, exhibits, products and more. 

What is the difference between using Thomas Edison for commercial purposes and educational purposes?

It may be unclear whether you need a Thomas Edison license because of the nature of your content. Even though a lot of projects fall under “educational” such as books or online classes, they are actually making profits and would need a license. If you are unsure if you'd need a license for your project, please reach out to us here to get a clear answer!

What will it cost to license Thomas Edison for my campaign? 

Fees are based on a handful of criteria such as time period, target and size of audience, types of media used (print, TV, internet, etc.) and whether Edison being used alone or with other personalities. We consider each project individually and encourage you to reach out to the Edison Team to custom a license and fee that is right for you and your project.

What is licensing? What does it have to do with Thomas Edison?

The definition of brand licensing is the process of leasing a trademarked or copyrighted intellectual property for use in connection with a product, service, or promotion. Intellectual property can include name, likeness, logo, graphic, saying, signature, character, or a combination of several different elements.

Thomas Edison's name, image, and any copyrighted material associated with him are protected by intellectual property laws. Licensing is a legal process that ensures the authorized use of these rights and prevents infringement. 

Why should I use Thomas Edison in my campaign over another historical figure?

Licensing Thomas Edison for a campaign can be an effective strategy due to his unparalleled legacy as one of history's greatest inventors and innovators. Edison's name is synonymous with groundbreaking advancements, such as the invention of the phonograph, the practical electric light bulb, and numerous other transformative technologies. By licensing his name and likeness, a campaign can leverage Edison's reputation to convey a sense of innovation, ingenuity, and forward-thinking to its audience.

Thomas Edison's iconic inventions, entrepreneurial prowess, loads of motivational quotes and of course, his association with the light bulb and "bright ideas" set him apart from other historical figures who may only be associated with one or one kind of success. You can read more about Thomas Edison's relevance today on our blog,

Who do I contact to license Thomas Edison Intellectual Property?

You can contact our foundation, Charles Edison Fund (the Edison estate and family foundation), to gain access to the rights to Thomas Edison intellectual property for your project or campaign. Fill out this form or contact us at for more information. You can also call us at (973) 648-0500.

Do you have a list of content available for licensing with Thomas Edison?

As Thomas Edison's family estate, we have access to a plethora of exclusive Thomas Edison content such as images, videos, quotes and artifacts. The examples in our Brand Book are just a taste of what we can access for you to use in your project.

We also have (#) trademarks and logos registered in (#) countries that are available for your use. You can find a few examples on this page, but there are many more to sort through. 

Contact us for a full list of Thomas Edison images, videos, quotes, artifacts and trademarks available for licensing. 

Do I have to clear the Thomas Edison content that I am making with your foundation?

As the family foundation of Thomas Edison, the Charles Edison Fund acts as a guardian of the Edison legacy. All commercial projects that mention Thomas Edison must be cleared with our foundation through a license or otherwise, in order to ensure the accuracy, authenticity and high-quality of the Edison brand now and in the future. Any rights associated with Thomas Edison, including creations, copyrights, rights of publicity, photographs, trademarks and characterizations may not be used without permission from Charles Edison Fund.

Do you have examples of how Thomas Edison was licensed in the past?

We have worked with many brands over the years to bring Edison's "light" to their projects and products, from electronics to cars to healthcare. You can download our brand book below to a full list of examples to get some ideas for your own project:

Download the Full Thomas Edison Brand Book Below

Click here to download

Brand Book
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