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Many companies (especially software companies) put something like "[Our product] is used by [Company 1], [Organization 1], [School 1], [Company 2], and 10,000 more!" on their website.

In US law, is permission from these companies and organizations needed to list their use on the website? If the makers include a footnote saying, "use of [our product] is not necessarily an endorsement by the company" does that serve in place of permission?

Note: There are similar questions pertaining to the use of logos, which is not what I am asking about.

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    Please note that this site can tell you what the law says, but it cannot give you legal advice. – Chipster Jan 12 at 3:36
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    I do not think that this question, as edited, should be closed as asking for specific legal advice. – David Siegel Jan 12 at 21:55
  • Thanks David for the edit to make it clear that this isn't asking for specific legal advice. – Michael Scott Cuthbert Jan 13 at 4:04
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The name of a company is often also a trademark. A specific brand name is usually a trademark. Using a trademark so as to suggest the approval or endorsement of a product by the trademark owner or the maker of the brand is trademark infringement unless permission has been granted.

A footnote,. if sufficiently prominent, might help with this issue. The question would still be, could a reasonable consumer or potential consumer think that the firms whose names are listed have approved of or endorsed the product. If the answer is "yes" that this is trademark infringement (if any of the names are trademarks). If the answer might plausibly be "yes" then a trademark infringement suit is plausible, which,m even if won, is likely to be costly.

Securing permission to use the names would avoid such problems. t might also include permission to use logos. It will probably come with specific wording to be used as a condition of p0ermission.

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  • Thank you. Will mark as accepted unless an even more specific answer (cases, etc.) appears in the next day or so. – Michael Scott Cuthbert Jan 13 at 4:05

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