Trademarked logo: What if somebody uses my logo?

Nov 20, 2018 | Trademark Blog

We often see logos being copied or reproduced without permission. Sometimes it is intentional, sometimes not.

Can you use a trademarked logo?

Logos are one of the most common marks filed for trademark protection. Generally speaking, no person or company should ever use someone else’s logo without permission. Asking for permission requires a description of how the logo can be used. Under a written agreement, certain policies and requirements are laid out, including perhaps resale policies. You can find this kind of notices in “Terms of Use” of a brand. For example, on the Sesame Street website, they specifically address the usage of their trademarks:


All trademarks, logos, service marks and trade names (collectively, the “Trademarks”) displayed on the Sites or on Site Content are registered or unregistered Trademarks of Sesame Workshop, the SW Parties and/or others, and may not be used unless authorized by the Trademark owner.  All Trademarks not owned by us that appear on the Sites or on the Site Content, if any, are the property of their respective owners. Nothing contained on the Sites should be construed as granting, by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademark displayed on the Sites.

With other words, hands off the merchandise!

When is it ok to use a trademark?

As long as the usage doesn’t attempt to confuse consumers with another service or product, it is not required to ask for a written permission. For example if it is for editorial or information purposes, like when a logo is used in a written article or being used as part of a comparative product statement.

Other’s using your logo

You might find that someone liked your logo or company enough to use your logo for something. If the usage is outside of the fair use described above, you might feel you want to stop them.

If your trademark is registered and protected by the government, you can file for trademark infringement. If your logo is NOT registered, there is not much you can do.

Of course, you don’t need to wait for someone to use your logo before you start registering it. Taking a proactive attitude toward protecting your logo or other trademark is a better way to position yourself against your competitors. The trademark belongs to whoever files with the government first. Remember to file in every country where you will be doing business the next few years. This includes every country where your products or services will be sold, not just where you have operations.

When in doubt, a trademark agent can help you with your trademark strategy. This makes sure that you prevent any mishaps with your brand later on. Whether you’re seeking permission to use a logo or you want to register your own logo to receive legal protections, MUSA Trademark’s expertise can be of service.

Do you want to talk to us about trademarks? Ask some questions?