My websites have never been too decorated with graphics. I mainly focus on writing good content. But as I look around the web, I see many other websites using logos from other companies on many of their pages. For example, sites like TechCrunch or Mashable may have a picture of an Apple or Android logo when talking about smartphones.
It made me wonder about the legality of using these logos. After all, company logos are often registered trademarks. Were all of these websites asking for permission to use these logos? Probably not, since it would take a lot of resources to ask for permission to use company logos in every post.
So how are these websites able to use the logos of other companies in their posts? The answer actually differs with each company. When looking to use a logo for a certain company, what you’ll want to look for is web page on their site that details the legal uses for company trademarks. Apple has a page where they say their logo can be used by authorized dealers, but not by websites or other publication without permission. While Pinterest seems to allow almost any usage of their logo as long as you “don’t manipulate it”.
Another question might be “Do these companies actually enforce the legal rules they set?” My guess is, not likely. These legal pages are really designed to protect companies in the event that somebody is abusing the use of their logo. Using an Apple logo on your personal blog for an iPhone review post probably won’t raise any eyebrows over at Apple. They may be concerned if you featured the Apple logo on every page in a manner that makes your site look as though it’s affiliated with Apple though.