Use of car badges/logos on your website

Solicitors for Aston Martin have been contacting clients who use the “wings” logo on their website but who are not authorised main dealers for Aston Martin.  They demand the removal of the badge/logo.

This is not the first time that a manufacturer has demanded removal from the advertising of a client’s website and nor will it be the last.  It must be remembered that these logos are trademarked and their use has to be authorised by the trademark owner.  Unauthorised use of trademarks can be costly and we would advise that their use be discontinued upon any demand from the trademark holder.  This includes not only on your website but on any physical advertising, stationery or similar.

Cars that you are genuinely advertising online can display the badge so long as it is in context and not just focussing on that badge.  

The trademark holder is at liberty to issue legal proceedings for unauthorised use and is intended to stop customers seeing the logo and assuming there to be an official connection between – in this case – Aston Martin and the selling garage.  However, the use of the words alone is acceptable.  

Therefore, if you sell lots of a specific manufacturers’ vehicles you may wish to say on your advertising “We specialise in selling, servicing and repairing (manufacturer) vehicles but we are in no way officially connected to that manufacturer”.

This makes it unequivocal and prevents you getting into hot water with the trademark holder and having to incur the expense of removing their trademarked logos from all of your advertising at a later date.

 

Authors: Jason Williams

Published: 04 Oct 2017

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