Intellectual Property Policy


All materials found on this site are the intellectual property of CineStill and its partners, affiliates, contributors or third parties, and are protected by United States and international copyright, trademark and other laws. All other products, brand names, company names and logos are trademarks of their respective owners, used merely to identify their respective products, and are not meant to connote any sponsorship, endorsement or approval. All intellectual property rights, including without limitation to copyrights, patents, other trademarks and trade secrets, found or referred to on this website are intellectual property of CineStill inc. and/or its affiliates or third parties.


CineStill Copyrights

This site and the contents belong to CineStill or its partners, affiliates, contributors or third parties, and are protected by U.S. and/or foreign copyright laws. The copyrights in the content are owned by CineStill or other copyright owners who have authorized their use on this site. We have included Sample Pictures on certain pages within the site, to demonstrate the capability of certain products. None of the materials and intellectual property described may be copied, reproduced, distributed, republished, downloaded, displayed, posted or transmitted in any form or by any means, including, but not limited to, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of CineStill or the respective intellectual property owner.

Using Copyrights:

We generally grant permission for use of CineStill product information for non-commercial research, educational, historical or journalistic purposes such as newspaper and magazine articles and educational materials provided they give proper credit to CineStill or the respective copyright owner as the source as applicable. All other uses, including commercial uses, are prohibited without written permission. This permission does not cover the right to use the image of any person shown in an image. The right to grant such permission belongs to the person shown and we are not able to grant such permission or to supply any contact information about the person shown.

You may electronically copy and print to hard copy any portions of this site for the sole purpose of using materials it contains for informational and non-commercial, personal use only. Any other use of the materials in the site (including any commercial use, reproduction for purposes other than described above, modification, distribution, republication, display, or performance), without the prior written permission of CineStill, is strictly prohibited.

Copyright Infringements:

An original work is protected by copyright as soon as it is created and fixed in a tangible form, for at least 70 years past the life of the author, 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation. If you are an intellectual property owner and believe that anything on this site or in our social media channels is your copyright, please send us the notice of infringement or cease & desist in writing pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).


CineStill Trademarks

Trademarks differ from copyrights in that a trademark needn’t be an original work, but only becomes protected through continued use in commerce until use has been discontinued, or if a trademark holder fails to enforce trademark rights. We are most commonly identified as CINESTILL®, but all of our unique product identifiers, name brands, designs and slogans, which identify CineStill’s goods or services, are established trademarks and may not be copied, imitated or used, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of CineStill. In addition, all custom graphics, designs and scripts are trademarks, and/or trade dress of CineStill, and may not be copied, imitated, or used, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission. All other trademarks, registered trademarks, product names and company names or logos mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. A trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that is used to identify specific goods or services. They are how customers identify CineStill products in the marketplace and distinguish them from other sources, helping to avoid confusion in conversation when referring to and requesting or reviewing specific products.

Using Trademarks:

When identifying a CineStill product the appropriate trademark can be found at the beginning of the title (before any generic terms used to further classify other products) in our product listings on our website, or prominently marked on the packaging. Trademarks are usually used like adjectives, and should be used prior to an appropriate generic noun after the trademark the first time it appears in publication. Always distinguish our trademarks from the surrounding text by capitalizing the first letter, or capitalizing and/or italicizing the entire trademark. Never alter our trademarks, including; making abbreviations thereof; making our trademarks possessive or plural; using our trademarks as a noun or verb; combining our trademarks with other names, trademarks, or logos; or using our trademarks in a derogatory, disparaging, false, illegal, infringing, or misleading manner. The generic terms we use to describe our products after the trademark are only suggestions, and there may be other words that are equally appropriate (e.g. “CineStill film”, “CineStill chemistry”, “800T film”, “800T still film”, “800T color negative film”), but our trademarks should never be used to describe other products.

Value of Trademarks:

The valuable goodwill and reputation in our marks have accrued exclusively to CineStill through continuous use in commerce since as early as September 22, 2012. Not only does it take significant effort in product development and brand awareness to establish value in a trademark, it also took years to earn and maintain goodwill in many of our trademarks — through quality assurance, customer support, and commitment to only releasing the highest quality product associated with a trademark. The reputation of a trademark is tied to the dedication and investment in maintaining it. What makes products associated with CineStill’s trademarks more valuable is the high cost of excellence, through extensive product development or by taking a loss on any substandard productions, rather than selling inferior products at a higher profit or for cheaper, devaluing the associated trademarks.

Establishing Trademarks:

We have established rights in and to various registered and common-law trademarks, and they have become distinctive, through CineStill’s substantially exclusive and continuous use with CineStill goods or services. CineStill has also obtained trademark registrations in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for international classes in both word and design mark formats. Registering and publicly publishing a trademark establishes a scrutinized legal decision that would otherwise be litigated upon infringement. Both the courts and internet service providers such as Shopify, eBay, Amazon, Alibaba and Google recognize the registration of a mark on the Principal Register as presumed proof of ownership when deciding a dispute about trademark rights. A registered mark was further verified through registration, but any distinctive mark established in the marketplace is protected by common-law prior to registration.

The good-faith decision to apply for registration of our trademarks was not based on what they are worth to us, but rather what they are worth as product source identifiers to consumers and the community. Registering and publishing the word marks “CineStill” and “800T” was not done to stifle competition, but rather to inform others looking for unique identifiers, so they could establish distinctive marks of their own. This also ensures that the reputation of our separate brands do not suffer when consumers, photographers and labs encounter issues with products identified by third parties as “CineStill” or “800T” from sources other than CineStill, Inc. — this has already occurred when photo producers and assistants are told get some “800T” or “Cine still film” for a photoshoot; then the photographer, clients and audience mistakenly believe the expired-looking or rem-jet contaminated results came from CineStill.

Trademark Infringements:

A trademark infringement is a use that is likely to eventually lead to confusion of any customers to wrongly believe that the products/services offered by another company originated with and/or are otherwise related to CineStill. Any confusingly similar variation on our trademarks, including any of our product brandnames or phrases, used by third-parties in commerce which could be perceived as a trademark, portion of a trademark, name, title, or source-indicator are by nature infringements. Unfortunately there is no Intellectual Property Police to enforce copyright or trademark rights. Instead, trademark owners must protect their own property, and platforms must self-police their users. We don’t want to inhibit other products from existing or more tools being available for the community, however others just shouldn’t be benefiting from the goodwill of our established brands and product quality, diluting the reputation of those identifiers.

It is of course acceptable to use any of the commonly used generic descriptors, which primary meaning is understood and not secondarily used to identify CineStill products, to accurately describe other products. For instance, describing any product as “cinematic” or “motion picture film” would be just fine, and even inaccurately listing “ISO 800”, “3200K”, or “tungsten-balanced” in separate places on the packaging or description would be okay as well, as long as they are not displayed as a trademark, confusingly similar to or paired together with any variation of the unique marks used to identify CineStill products. Please just don’t use our unique identifiers to describe other products.

Additionally, any misleading and unlawful comparative advertising takes unfair advantage of the reputation of the trademarks, trade names or designations of origin, since it does not equate like-for-like products and fails to take into account the provenance and quality of the products compared. Consumers searching for “CineStill 800T film” could mistakenly purchase a product (perceived or interpreted by a consumer or a search engine aiding a consumer to identify and distinguish CineStill goods) under the assumption that imitation products are “the same, regardless of which package it is sold in,” or that CineStill is the original source of the product, and thus associate it’s potentially inferior performance or different qualities (such as defects, lower effective film speed or cassette design) with 800T® and CINESTILL®. We however encourage fair side-by-side comparisons and accurate technical distinctions. Correlations should be drawn from clinical testing, rather than erroneous assumptions or deceptive claims.

Protecting Trademarks:

We don’t assume that all infringements are malicious or intended to deceive. So far, any counterfeit (using identical CineStill trademarks and/or trade dress) and knockoff (using confusingly similar trademarks and/or trade dress) imitation products who were pretending to be us and stealing our intellectual property, have been reported and successfully corrected without any litigation or loss of availability to any products for the community. Regretfully, e-commerce service providers are not as courteous and far more impersonal, but we were able to repair those interactions immediately. We have successfully resolved all other infringements without legal action or business interruption through offers to compromise, and even courteous sell-off periods when necessary, with zero financial liability.

Our policy is to ensure that distinctive product source identifiers are used to distinguish the different products offered to consumers, in order to bring more diversity and opportunity in the film photography community. We have no ill-intent towards others providing more film and other tools to more photographers. It is our goal to avoid conflict and legal action while encouraging fair competition and privately protecting our trademarks, through the most efficient and gracious methods available.


Trademark Examples:

Although some suggestive trademarks could be construed as eluding to certain uses of the goods, they don’t outright describe them. They merely correlate with uses of the product once one becomes familiar with the product. Consider NETFLIX, in the “video streaming content” category, which suggests a service that provides movies and TV shows (FLICKS) to watch through the internet (NET), but it doesn't directly describe the service. Suggestive trademarks “suggest a quality or qualities of the product through the use of imagination, thought, and perception.” RiseandShine Corp. v. PepsiCo, Inc., 41 F.4th 112, 121 (2d Cir. 2022). Only “arbitrary and fanciful” marks rank higher than suggestive marks on the scale used by the courts to assess the strength of a trademark. Even a mark that is highly suggestive or even deemed descriptive (comprised of commonly used descriptive terms for a category or qualities of the product) may be protected if it has acquired distinctiveness or secondary meaning through five years of substantially exclusive and continuous use in commerce under §2(f) of the Trademark Act.


Trademark: CineStill®

Descriptors: Motion picture film for still photographers

We came up with the brand name “CineStill” early on during the exploratory phase of R&D in 2012. Our goal was to bring motion picture “Cinematic” technology to the small-scale of single-frame ”Still photography”; hence “CineStill.” And it stuck! Photographers now commonly equate the look of cinematic sills with the qualities of CineStill products — such as color palette or halation — whether derived from analog emulsions or digital emulations — and other businesses can now benefit from associating their products with CineStill marks, trade dress or logos.

CINESTILL® is a suggestive trademark, comprised of the words CINE (deriving from the Greek "kine" for motion) and STILL (from a non-motion photograph). It may seem like an oxymoron but it implies distinction from either meaning. Common use of the term “Cine” film in English and historically in the US also refers to 8mm, and 16mm home movie projection formats. It is not used to refer to larger camera negative film such as 35mm or 65mm film. "Movie film" is the common informal term for "motion picture film", the standard formal way of referring to 35mm or 65mm professional formats throughout the industry. Therefore, in addition to its use as an abbreviated version of “cinema” for projection film in smaller formats, “Cine” film has also now been secondarily used in the still photography market as a nickname for the qualities of CineStill films.

Although CINESTILL® film now coexists with other motion picture based film larger than 16mm in the still photography market, none of those products would be accurately described as either “cine still film” or "cine film” (benefiting from the goodwill CineStill has generated around the phrases). Instead, the standard way of referring to these types of films throughout the industry is as “motion picture film” or “movie film.”


Similarly suggestive distinctive trademarks:

NetFlix - movies and TV shows through the internet

Microsoft - microchips and computer software

iPhone - intelligent phone (aka smartphone)

FaceTime - video calling using front a facing camera

AirDrop - wireless file transfer

AirPlay - wireless media player

Face ID - face recognizing authentication

Facebook - a "face book" is a student directory often given to university students

SweeTarts - sweet and tart candy

Coca-Cola - beverage from coca leaves and cola nuts

Coke - nickname for Coca-Cola

VitaminWater - water infused with vitamins

5-Hour Energy - beverage that gives 5-hours of energy

Coppertone - sunscreen to give skin a copper tone

Airbus - airplanes that function like a bus

American Airlines - an airline in America

GM - General Motors

GE - General Electric

Bayerische Motoren Werke - Bavarian Engine Plants

800° - pizza cooked at 800 degrees

Kentucky Fried Chicken - Kentucky style fried chicken


Trademark: 800T®

Descriptors: Color film for low light

We originally named our first product “800Tungsten” while photographers, resellers, and labs in the community began to commonly identify our flagship film as simply “800T” since 2013. Still photographers now assume that you’re talking about a film from CineStill when you mention “800T” — or any of the other marks commonly used to identify our products.

800T® and the word mark 800TUNGSTEN™ are suggestive product identifiers in connection with a high-speed, cool-balanced film in the “color-negative” category. The number 800 suggests setting the light meter to a high-speed exposure index (EI800), and the mark T or TUNGSTEN suggests the cool-balanced color temperature between about 2500-4000 degrees Kelvin (for the light emitted by the chemical element tungsten, or wolfram, in typical incandescent light bulbs). The trademark doesn’t state outright that it is “ISO 800-speed” or “3200°Kelvin color-balanced”. It hints at the nature or quality of the product, but requires some additional context, markings, description or imagination to understand the connection between the mark and the specifications of the product. 800T® could just as easily suggest an emulsion that is sensitive to the near infrared light spectrum (800nm wavelength) with tabular silver halides (T-grain).

Although 800T® color negative film now coexists with other high-speed cool-balanced color-negative films in the market, no other still photography product had previously been described as “800 Tungsten”. Instead, the standard ways of referring to these types of color negative films throughout the industry are as "high-speed," “800 ISO,” “tungsten-balanced,” or “3200K-balanced.” The only reason that other products benefit from using 800T® or 800TUNGSTEN™ as marks or descriptors is because consumers are familiar with what 800TUNGSTEN™ is, and it’s distinctive qualities.

By reason of their more than five years of substantially exclusive and continuous use in interstate commerce, since at least as early as July 16, 2013, the marks have acquired distinctiveness (secondary meaning) in the market for photographic film. The valuable goodwill and reputation in the marks have accrued exclusively to CineStill over a decade of use. Additionally, registration of 800TUNGSTEN™ is not necessary since whenever 800TUNGSTEN is used, the 800T® word mark is entirely contained within 800TUNGSTEN™.


Similar unique suggestive product identifiers:

100F - 100-speed, Fine-grain, from FUJIFILM

800Z - 800-speed, for Zoom lenses, from FUJIFILM

400H - 400-speed, High-definition, from FUJIFILM

160C - 160-speed, Contrast, from FUJIFILM

160S - 160-speed, Skin-tone, from FUJIFILM

C200 - Color/Consumer, 200-speed, from FUJIFILM

Press 800 - Press photography, 800-speed, from FUJIFILM

Portra 800 - Portraits, 800-speed, from KODAK

400NC - 400-speed, Natural Color, from KODAK

400VC - 400-speed, Vivid Color, from KODAK

E100 - Ektachrome, 100-speed, from KODAK

E100VS - Ektachrome, 100-speed, Vivid and Saturated, from KODAK

64T - 64-speed, Tungsten-balanced, from KODAK circa 1987

T64 - Tungsten-balanced, 64-speed, from FUJIFILM in 2005

Pan-X - Panchromatic, Normal Speed, from KODAK

Plus-X Pan - Added Speed, Panchromatic, from KODAK

Double-X Pan - 2X Speed, Panchromatic, from KODAK

Tri-X Pan - 3X Speed, Panchromatic, from KODAK

Neopan 400 - New Panchromatic, 400-speed, from FUJIFILM

Neopan 1600 - New Panchromatic, 1600-speed, from FUJIFILM

T400CN - T-grain, 400-speed, Color Negative process, from KODAK

BW400CN - Black & White, 400-speed, Color Negative process, from KODAK

P3200 - Push-process, 3200-speed, from KODAK

AE1 - Auto Exposure SLR, 1st, from CANON

FA - reFlex camera, Aperture priority, from NIKON

FE - reFlex camera, Electronic, from NIKON

M3 - Messsucher or "rangefinder” bayonet mount camera, 3rd, abandoned by LEICA in 1966

M3 - Mirrorless digital camera, 3rd, from CANON in 2015

D1 - 1st, Digital SLR, from NIKON

1D - 1st, Digital SLR, from CANON

Df - Digital SLR, Film style, from NIKON

F-150 - 1,500-pound capacity, from FORD

IS 200T - Intelligent Sport, 2.0-liter, turbocharged, from LEXUS

4xE - 4-wheel, Electric drive, from JEEP

R90S - Rad or “bike”, 900cc, Sport, from BMW MotorRad

K1600 - Six-cylinder, 1600cc, from BMW MotorRad

BMW MotorRad - Bavarian, Motor, Works, Motorcycle, from BMW

KFC - Kentucky, Fried, Chicken, from Kentucky Fried Chicken

Quarter Pounder - ¼ Pound hamburger, from McDonalds


Product Identifiers:

Product identification that ensures short, suggestive/descriptive product names remain unique is not only common practice in all marketplaces, it also avoids misconception in conversation. It’s pretty simple to come up with an original name that distinguishes a product from its competition. Even in the motion picture industry, FUJIFILM branded their 500-speed tungsten-balanced film as F-500 and later Eterna 500 or Vivid 500, rather than 500T, which is recognized as from Eastman Kodak. Any historical confusion seems to have been resolved privately over time (like the renaming of FUJI 64T film to T64 as to be less likely confused with KODAK’s original 64T), without public record of conflict. Unique product identifiers are not only a common courtesy in the film industry but also throughout commerce. That being said, shouldn’t small businesses in a niche industry also enjoy the same courtesies and protections that large corporations demand?