Is it allowed to use logos of automotive companies in the commercial video?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it allowed to use logos of automotive companies in the commercial video?


Is it allowed to use logos of automotive companies in the commercial video? Im a
video editor and was hired to make an internal use video for one company that
wants to expand their business. As a part of the video, we need short animation
showing the race for electrification in the automotive industry. I need to
include logos of the GM, TESLA, NISSAN, and other industry pioneers. No harm will
occur for these companies by this video. Do I need permission for this?


Asked on December 16, 2018 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you definitely need permission. It's not a matter of harm or not: you cannot use another's property, including intellectual property or trademarkes (e.g. logos) without their permission. It's the same as you can't "borrow" your neighbor's car to run errands without his permission, even if you fill up the gas when you're done, take it to the car wash, and even write him a check for the mileage. Harm is not the issue; permission is, since you can never use other's property without permission. 

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