Is it legal to use a company’s logo for your personal use?

UPDATED: Aug 8, 2012

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UPDATED: Aug 8, 2012Fact Checked

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Is it legal to use a company’s logo for your personal use?

For example I want to use a company logo so I can integrate it on my boat name design. Is it legal or illegal?

Asked on August 8, 2012 under Business Law


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Assuming the logo warrants trademark (or tradename, etc.) protection, then yes, it is illegal and it would be trademark infringement. Only the holder/owner of a mark may use it for any purpose, or allow others to use it. Someone who uses a mark without the owner's persmission, even for non-business, non-money-making purposes, is guilty of infringement and potentially liable to the mark's owner. Note that even if a mark is not registered, it may still be a valid, enforceable mark if it is used in commerce to identify a company or source of goods--pretty much any company logo should be assumed to be a protected mark.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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