Heraldic fraud may either mean, to falsely claim the right to a coat of arms to which a person does not have the right, or to falsely claim someone else has that right and thereby selling heraldic art to him to which he has no right. Both can be seen as a kind of fraud and an infringement on intellectual property rights.
According to the Law of Arms in most heraldic jurisdictions, usage of a pre-existing coat of arms must be predicated on some form of relation. Typically, inheritance of arms flows through the male line, though in many traditions it may flow through the female line as well.
In heraldry, a "bucket shop" is a company that will sell a coat of arms associated with the customer's surname, regardless of whether the customer can actually claim a relation to the original armiger. Bucket shops may work from a database of surnames and shields sourced from manuscripts, armorials, and various journals.
- Justice of the peace & local government law. Justice of the Peace. 1997. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Sir Christopher Henry Lynch-Robinson (Bart.); Adrian Lynch-Robinson (1967). Intelligible heraldry: the application of a mediæval system of record and identification to modern needs. Heraldic Book Co. p. 119. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "The Privileges of the College of Arms (Concluded)". The Genealogical Magazine, Volume 5. pp. 103–106. Elliot Stock., 1902.
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