I have recently opened an consumer electronics repair store and we repair name brands such as the Apple Iphone or Samsung Galaxy / Note series. We also provide cases and accessories for said brands and products they provide. I don't want to get in trouble for displaying the apple or samsung name / logo. If this is against the law how do I go through the proper channels to be able to display such things.
You should say only enough to tell consumers what you sell and repair. Without authorization don't use the logos. The more you say to make that clear, the better.
This answer is written to explain situations which may come up involving intellectual property law issues. It does not give specific legal advice about specific fact situations. If you have a specific fact situation in mind you should ask for professional legal advice about the relevant facts. Seemingly minor changes in facts may change a legal opinion dramatically. Space here does not permit an explanation of all the variables in complex legal areas. Dave Brezina is an Illinois lawyer and his profession is regulated under the authority of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Although he represents clients nationally and internationally, his law practice is performed in Illinois and is not subject to regulation by other states. Dave Brezina is also a Registered Patent Attorney and a patent practice is regulated by the US Patent and Trademark Office a Federal agency and is not subject to regulation by the states. Finally, do not post confidential information. There is no an attorney client relationship created simply by correspondence or communication with the author of this site.
Generally you may be able to use words to describe products that you repair, however, you should generally avoid use of logos, if you do not have the permission of the trademark owners of the logos.
You should avoid any indication that you are associated with the various companies, if you are not.
You should show whatever proposed advertising you are thinking of doing to an intellectual property attorney in a private consultation.
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In general, you are free to use another's trademark descriptively in text to refer to that mark holder. This is called "nominative fair use" and the classic example is using the terms "Coke" or "Pepsi" on a menu as opposed to "cola flavored carbonated beverage." You just have to make certain that you are not presenting a false association, sponsorship, endorsement or other affiliation with any given trademark owner. I would also make sure you understand where to draw the line regards to disparagement to avoid being accused of defamation. Using logos, however, is often seen by the courts of using more than what is necessary to convey your point and can lead to accusations of infringement.
If you need clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Legal, LLC on the basis of this posting.
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