I am making and commercially reproducing a script that would show textual advertisements based on a user's device.

I want to, beside the text, have an icon showing the device in order to show compatibility with the device. However, I looked into the guidelines by each company and it looks like Android is the only one I would be able to do this with.

In place I have though of using some modified logos, such as the last icon in this image. http://orig09.deviantart.net/9015/f/2013/158/1/2/boxed_metal_icons_by_martz90-d684ioq.jpg

Would this be legal or would that still be copyrighted?

EDIT: Here are the guidelines from each website.

Apple Guidelines:

  1. Apple Logo and Apple-owned Graphic Symbols: You may not use the Apple Logo or any other Apple-owned graphic symbol, logo, or icon on or in connection with web sites, products, packaging, manuals, promotional/advertising materials, or for any other purpose except pursuant to an express written trademark license from Apple, such as a reseller agreement.

I think this one is pretty clear.

Microsoft Guidelines:

Third parties may only use the logo without a license under the following limited circumstances: In advertising, marketing collateral, or a website that references your connection with Microsoft (e.g., the material states that you are an authorized distributor or reseller of Microsoft products) provided that the area in which the Microsoft logo is used includes the corporate logo of at least 1 other company with which you have a similar relationship. In an area of a website, advertising, or marketing collateral exclusively dedicated to the sale of Microsoft products, and in such a manner that associates licensed Microsoft software with the Microsoft logo.

In this one, if the user is on a Windows phone there would not be a corporate logo of any other company on the page.

Blackberry Guidelines:

BlackBerry owns the BlackBerry family of trademarks. To maintain the distinctiveness of BlackBerry trademarks, logos, and imagery, BlackBerry must ensure these terms are used in a manner that does not imply that an app is affiliated or endorsed by BlackBerry, when in fact there is no such relationship.

You need to have license from BlackBerry, or express written authorization to use BlackBerry trademarks, logos and imagery by third-parties.

I do not have enough reputation to post more than two links so for my second link I will post a pastebin containing sources for the three guidelines.

  • Can you share the usage guidelines you have found, and why you think such use is explicitly forbidden?
    – feetwet
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 22:29
  • Yup! I don't know why I didn't before. Just added it!
    – scorgn
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 22:58

2 Answers 2


The word "use", for purposes of trademark law, is a term of art meaning it is used in a way that may be a violation of law if not licensed. Not all uses of trademarks are violations. Similarly, there is a difference between using the name of a company and the brand of products or services sold by that company.

In any case, using a trademark or trade name to REFERENCE a company or brand is not a trademark infringement. For instance, I don't need any license to tell you that I own a Dell or HP or Apple product, or that my software will run on a Dell or HP or Apple product. The use of a logo is, however, more sensitive and likely to require detailed legal analysis, if not an actual license.

  • 4
    These companies might actually be more upset (and create more trouble for you) if you use a slightly modified logo, instead of an exact copy.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 21:24

Ill try to update my answer later to include the other brands, but apple permits use of its word mark (not logo) to demonstrate compatibility.

This is usually done by having an IOS icon rather than the apple logo to achieve your desired effect.

Source: https://www.apple.com/legal/intellectual-property/guidelinesfor3rdparties.html

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