I'm making a simple turn-based Android ball flicking soccer game and I was thinking of creating a theme in a sports game, like soccer for example, usually had advertisement banner on walls and a bit realistic but cartoony. It is usually encountered in most sports-based game in any gaming platform. I have a question regarding this topic. Is it required to ask a permission to used some recognized ad banner designed walls (e.g. Adidas, Samsung, McDonalds, etc.) to be used as props for the game field like this one for example?

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    \$\begingroup\$ As a legal question this is off-topic for this site. Random people on the internet can't give you an answer, only a qualified legal professional (who is registered to practise law in the relevant jurisdictions) can. \$\endgroup\$ – Maximus Minimus Mar 27 '13 at 23:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mh01 can you suggest me, if possible, if there is another Stack Exchange website that can ask questions related to this question I've made, a topic that is something about law consultation or something? \$\endgroup\$ – David Dimalanta Apr 1 '13 at 4:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ In general the response will be the same as here - consult with a real lawyer. Legal advice from someone on the internet who may not even be in the same jurisdiction as you cannot be valid and is rarely a welcome line of questioning. \$\endgroup\$ – Maximus Minimus Apr 1 '13 at 8:02

Yes, you do require permission. Logos of corporations are usually trademarked, which means that they must not be used without explicit permission. Copyrights on the design of the logos also apply.

You might wonder "Why would they sue me - I am making free advertising for them". Unfortunately advertising works two-sided. When you endorse another company by advertising for them, it also implies that they endorse you. That's a marketing statement they don't necessarily want to make.

When it's just about the atmosphere, you could substitute fantasy brands or parodies of corporate logos.

Also, why would you put in corporate logos for free, when you could make some money doing so? Companies pay a lot for product placement. And when you have an elegant way to put non-obstructive advertising in you game which doesn't break but even improves immersion, why not?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Since one of my teammates thinking about the concept on how it looks like. It worries me, so, I ask some questions if there is anything I need to know. If I granted this permission for the game, does it either have a split shares between the other branded company and our game company or once permitted it might required to pay a fee first before allowing it to used it as a display? \$\endgroup\$ – David Dimalanta Mar 26 '13 at 10:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidDimalanta You would have to negotiate the exact terms with the companies who own the trademarks you want to use. \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp Mar 26 '13 at 10:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidDimalanta: You could always blur out the trademarked logo :D \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Eding Mar 27 '13 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasEding But still, it might suspect that their logos affected and it still against in the copyright law. :-\ \$\endgroup\$ – David Dimalanta Apr 1 '13 at 4:18

As an alternative, why not use one of the android ad companies, and build their ad into the company sponsorship slots on the game fields of choice (ie banner ads incorporated into the baseball field advertisements). You could change how the field is displayed so that the ad is still at the top or bottom of the screen

  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly the idea I was going to suggest. Real ads with potential revenue! \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Holt Mar 26 '13 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Android apps working for the Android market (i.e. Google Play). However, still it might probably needed a contract, paying fee, or something to use Android trademarks as banner on walls in the game field. \$\endgroup\$ – David Dimalanta Mar 27 '13 at 1:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidDimalanta I wouldn't put android logos. I would put admob banner ads (as an example) on the walls of the stadium \$\endgroup\$ – wes Mar 27 '13 at 11:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm...Clever idea. This might be act as a huge electronic ad screen. However, it is always on front unless if there is a code to adjust it. :-\ \$\endgroup\$ – David Dimalanta Apr 1 '13 at 4:16

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