Suppose that a person Amy wants to make wall posters based on cheat sheets and selling the posters online.

For example suppose Amy has a cheat sheet (based on console commands or key bindings) with description for Adobe Photoshop or another piece of software. Amy wants to put text and graphics on the posters. (Her main purpose is education).

Cheat sheet example

  1. Does she need to get approval from software owners?

  2. Can she use their logo or name of product on her posters? Such as using the Linux or PHP logos.

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Use of Microsoft Trademark in Product Name
    – user4657
    Aug 9, 2021 at 19:36
  • 2
    The linked question is about use of a trademark as part of the name of a related product, which is a significantly different issue from the one in this question. It is not a duplicate. Aug 9, 2021 at 20:27
  • 1
    Voting to keep open as per @DavidSiegel's comment. Ping me if you feel otherwise. Aug 18, 2021 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


Amy may use the names, and possibly the logos, of software products and their makers in producing instructional and educational materiel about such software. This is an example of nominative use. (Product names are not protected by copyright, and so copyright infringement will not be relevant. Trademark protection will be.)

Nominative use means using the trademark as the name of the product or service associated with the mark. This is generally permitted.

In many jurisdictions nominative use is limited to the use of the smallest amount of the trademark that will severe to identify the subject. This often means that use of the text name is permitted, but use of the logo, and the trade dress (the specific colors and fonts used on a name to make it a recognizable trasement, suh as the srylized script used for "coca-cola") is nort permitted withotu permission.

The question says that "Amy has a cheat sheet (based on console commands or key bindings)..." If any wrote the cheat sheet herself, there is no problem. If she copied it without permission, that is quite likely to be a copyright infringement on its own, unless the sheet is a list of facts in a natural or obvious order, with no creativity involved in its creation.

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