In general, you should not use a trademark belonging to another company. Besides avoiding conflict, it is bad marketing to promote the brand of another for free – which is what you are doing. That’s why TV shows have started blacking out logos on vehicles unless they’ve paid to advertise on the show.

If you must use someone else’s trademark, it is best to do so only with their permission. Permission should be in writing, and they should provide you with specific guidelines for using their marks in your marketing materials.

If it is impossible to get permission, and you absolutely have to use someone else’s trademark in order to explain that your product works with their product, you are allowed to use it in a limited manner to describe that your product fits on the XYZ(R) product Manufactured by XYZ Corporation. You MUST use their mark properly (typically setting it apart and noting that it is a registered trademark). It is extremely important that you do not use their mark to promote your product or imply any sort of endorsement/partnership/etc.

Typically, using someone else’s trademark should be in small print (not prominently displayed) and reference would be made that “XYZ(R) is a registered trademark of XYZ Corporation and XYZ Corporation is not associated with and does not endorse our product line in any manner”. Even then, if you don’t disclaim it exactly the way they want you to, you can expect to receive a letter from their attorney.

General Information Only. Not Legal Advice. Seek the counsel of an attorney in your area for further assistance.

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