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    Use of Brand Names or Third-Party Logos in Your Ads

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    Generally, another company’s logo, brand name, slogan or other similar term should not be used in your business’s promotional materials without their permission.  It may violate a company’s trademark rights to use their logo or business name in a way that implies that they are associated or affiliated with you, or that they endorse your business, if they did not, or that tries to take advantage of the good reputation of another business to sell your products or services, or that may confuse potential buyers in the market who are looking for the other business. 

    Use of a third party’s logo or trademark is controlled by that party’s terms of use for the logo or by specific permissions granted by the third party to use their “marks.”  So, unless the published terms of use or a contract between you and that business says that you can do so (for instance, as a licensed reseller of branded products), it is not a good practice to use a third party’s logo to promote your own product or service. This also means that, even if you are a fan, you should avoid using images or logos of major sports franchises, leagues and even their tournaments in your ads without their okay – the Olympics, the teams and mascots of the NFL, NBA, and NCAA, as well as the names and logos for the Super Bowl, Final Four, and Sweet Sixteen are all protected trademarked terms and/or designs that require permission to associate with your business.

    Also, avoid creating a logo for your business that resembles the logo of another business or a recognizable brand.  It could violate that company’s trademark if your similar logo might cause confusion in the marketplace or if you are trying to use their business’s reputation to promote your product without their permission.

     

    This “Best Practices” content is provided for convenience and information only and is not intended as legal advice.  We do not claim that this information represents an accurate summary of the laws in this area or that it will be updated for any changes.  Please consult an attorney for questions about your compliance with applicable laws.

     

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