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gigaboy

Display of Corporate Logos on Websites

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There has been a trend for the last several years of websites who have transacted business with other companies to display these other company logos on their websites.  I've attached a couple samples.  These are used typically to build inferred credibility for the website owner (if this product or service is good enough for AT&T, then it must be good).  Logos are much more recognizable by the public than text.

 

In most cases, I would presume that the website owner does NOT get permission from these third party companies to use the logos on their website.  The justifications I've heard is that:

1) its true that the website owner has done work for the third party company or the third party company has purchased a product or service.

2) its more branding exposure for these third party companies, so these third party companies don't care.

3) if a third party company would issue a cease and desist to remove their logo, the website owner would just plead ignorance, and remove it.

4) its too difficult to get permission from mid to large size large companies, as this is a minor issue where they have other much more pressing matters.

 

The reason I'm asking this is because my wife is in an industry where 90%+ of her competition displays third party corporate logos on sites as credibility builders (of companies that these competitiors have performed work for). She is INSISTENT not to use logos because it violates ethics.  I think it's hurting her business by not using logos.  She has received counsel that it is illegal.  However, I've spoken to other attorneys who feel its not a problem.

 

Is there any consensus as to the display of third party logos on websites?  What say ye?

 

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54 minutes ago, gigaboy said:

She has received counsel that it is illegal.

 

That's all you need to know.

 

54 minutes ago, gigaboy said:

Is there any consensus as to the display of third party logos on websites?  What say ye?

 

Get consent.

 

Logo owners don't often just stop with cease and desist letters. They often demand money as compensation instead of a lawsuit.

 

57 minutes ago, gigaboy said:

4) its too difficult to get permission from mid to large size large companies, as this is a minor issue where they have other much more pressing matters.

 

Not true:

 

https://www.google.com/permissions/

 

https://www.dropbox.com/branding

 

https://brand.netflix.com/en/terms/

 

https://www.brandsoftheworld.com/logo/fedex

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, gigaboy said:

I would presume that the website owner does NOT get permission from these third party companies to use the logos on their website.

 

Why would you presume this?

 

 

2 hours ago, gigaboy said:

The justifications I've heard is that. . . .

 

Not sure what this means.  Are you saying that one or more persons who has used another company's logo on a web site without permission have offered you the excuses you listed for not getting permission?  If that's not it, what exactly are you saying here?

 

 

2 hours ago, gigaboy said:

She has received counsel that it is illegal.  However, I've spoken to other attorneys who feel its not a problem.

 

Is there any consensus as to the display of third party logos on websites?  What say ye?

 

I haven't the slightest idea if there's consensus, but here's my take:

 

The use of other companies' logos -- especially very famous logos such as you displayed in your post -- without permission is a violation of federal and state trademark law.  Why?  Because the use of those logos implies that the owners of the logos endorse the business on whose web site the logos are used.  There's a big difference between saying (truthfully), "Our current and past clients include the following companies. . .," and displaying those companies' logos.  Just because Company A has used Company B's services does not mean that Company A would endorse Company B.

 

One possible way to deal with this would be for your wife to put a provision in her form contract that allows the use of the client's logo on her web site.

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