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My company (a construction company) has done a lot of work with large chains, such as retail stores and restaurants. I would like to display pictures of some of these stores on the company portfolio page, so that potential customers know that we can follow brand aesthetic guidelines.

I would like to just post pictures of the outside of the buildings. I understand that it's completely legal to post pictures of the buildings themselves as works of architecture; my question is about the logo. I understand that trademark law requires that the logo not be used "in commerce" or cause "consumer confusion."

With regard to the "in commerce" issue, our customer base is across many state lines. So I don't know if that falls under the purview of "in commerce." But the type of work my company does in no way relates to the companies we've done work for; for example, Shoprite. (We haven't done work with Shoprite, it's just an example of a company that is completely removed from construction.) So vis-a-vis commerce, the interstate commerce is not related to the company whose logo is in question, just our own.

With regard to the "consumer confusion" issue, as stated, our industry is construction, not, for example, supermarkets. So I don't know if the issue of "consumer confusion" would play in here either--the image would clearly be on a portfolio page, and the page would be targeting contractors and others in the construction industry, not supermarket specialists or food purchasers.

Considering both of these issues, do I need permission from the companies in order to have buildings with their logos in images on my company's portfolio?

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This would normally be fine

With trade marks it’s important to be clear that the use of the trade mark does not indicate endorsement or recommendation of your business.

But...

Read your contracts. Most commercial construction contracts explicitly prohibit publication or promotion of the project without agreement.

So, while there are no copyright issues and you can avoid trade mark issues, doing this may put you in breach of contract.

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