These guidelines set out what you can and can’t use in your items when it comes to trademarks, logos and real-world products. To avoid any confusion, an item is what you create and customers purchase and a product is a reference to a real-world thing like a car or a tablet or even a shoe.
We respect the intellectual property rights of others and we expect our users to follow suit. Dealing with intellectual property rights is sometimes complex, especially if your item includes subject matter which you did not create, and in which other rights exist, such as a trademark, logo, design or a product.
If you have any further questions please submit a ticket.
THE 3 RULES
So here’s what is not allowed in your items (subject to a few exceptions outlined below):
- No identifiable real-world products can be a stand-alone item or the focus of the item.
- No visible trademarks.
- No use of trademarks in titles, descriptions or tags.
Things aren’t always that straightforward though. So there are a few exceptions that are based on common sense, customers’ needs and what’s appropriate for some item types.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULES
EXCEPTION #1: APPLICABLE TO ALL ITEM TYPES
A real-world product can be visible if it is incidental to the main focus of the image or footage. It’s really a common sense approach that you have to take to determine what ‘incidental to the main focus’ means. Our review team will make the call on this.
For example, a man using a phone and holding a camera is ok since the real world products aren't the reason why the photo was taken.
EXCEPTION #2: APPLICABLE TO GRAPHICS, VIDEO AND PHOTOS
A real-world product can be the focus of an item if it is not identifiable to a particular manufacturer.
For example, if you’re a photographer who photographs generic real-world products for stock items and the item is not identifiable to a particular manufacturer, you should be ok.
EXCEPTION #3: APPLICABLE TO 3D MODELS
Yes, you can base your 3D model on real-world products and yes visible trademarks can be included in 3D items based on real-world products.
It is up to customers to consider whether further permissions are needed for their particular use of 3D items, like permission from the real-world product or trademark owner. As a general rule of thumb, customers would not need further permissions for editorial uses but may need a permission (or need to follow manufacturers’ guidelines) for commercial or advertising uses of 3D items based on real-word products.
In case you’re unclear, editorial purposes mean using an item only for news or journalistic purposes like in blogs, magazine and newspaper editorial applications.
Real-world products can feature in 3D items because these items are often part of an ecosystem where, as long as the right permissions are obtained, it suits both users of the 3D items and product manufacturers to have high-quality 3D models available. For example, a car manufacturer might want its advertising agency to create a photo-realistic advert for a new car model using 3D models and motion graphics software, rather than shooting the car in real-world. Or an online game maker does a deal with a helicopter maker to feature a particular helicopter in his new game, but instead of coding it himself might access it as a pre-made 3D model.
EXCEPTION #4: APPLICABLE TO GRAPHICS AND VIDEO
Like 3D items we’ve discussed above, product mock-up and product promo items in graphics and videos can be based on real-world products. But unlike 3D items, visible trademarks or logos are not allowed.
For example, you create items that are designed to be used as product mock-ups that others can use to illustrate their things. This product mock-up item might be a vector or motion graphics template of a smartphone (with trademark/logo removed), which gives customers the ability to use the mock-up to illustrate the compatibility of their app with a particular smartphone.
It’s up to the customer to work out whether they need permission from the device manufacturer to use the mock-up in this way. Manufacturer guidelines might assist customers.
EXCEPTION #5: APPLICABLE TO ALL ITEM TYPES
Yes, but read on! A real-world product image can be used in an item’s preview only to:
- Illustrate the compatibility of the item with the real-world product; or
- Demonstrate how the item might work when implemented by the customer.
The real-world product image can include a trademark only if it’s incidental to the image and not the focus of the preview. If you’re in doubt about what’s incidental to the preview, leave out the trademark!
So, for example, you want to show off your creations so that customers can appreciate for themselves what your item might look like, and to do this the preview of your item has a real-world product. This includes using a real-world product in image sliders and carousels in your item previews in line with the rules and this exception.
EXCEPTION #6: APPLICABLE TO ALL ITEM TYPES
Yes, but read on! Stand-alone real world logos can only be used in previews for logo sliders/carousels in theme and code categories and only to demonstrate how those features might work when implemented by the customer.
For other stand-alone logos in previews (eg., logo reveals), continue to use the Envato logo or ‘sample’ logos.
So if you create website templates that contain logo sliders and carousels, or code items that are logo sliders and carousels for websites, you can use logos in the previews only to show the customer how your slider looks in practice.
EXCEPTION #7: APPLICABLE TO ALL ITEM TYPES
There are three permitted uses of social media icons in items:
- Social media icons can be used as part of an icon pack if the icon pack also includes at least 20% of your own icons (to meet our originality thresholds).
- Items can include social media icons in the download files if the icons are appropriately integrated, in context, into the item’s design. For example, a website theme download might include standard Facebook, LinkedIn and other buttons in the theme design.
- Item previews can include social media icons only to illustrate the compatibility of the item with that social media platform.
In all of these cases, please follow the social media platform’s guidelines. It’s your responsibility to check and follow the platform’s guidelines.
EXCEPTION #8: APPLICABLE TO ALL ITEM TYPES
Items on our websites can include trademarks used in a factual way to describe what an item actually is whether it be in the title, description or tags.
Factual, descriptive use allowed:
“Responsive WordPress Theme”
“Facebook Timeline Cover”
Marketing use not allowed:
“Lego Blocks site template”
Item Tags and Descriptions
When describing what your item is compatible with, what code/assets are being used, or technical requirements for the item to be implemented, you can only use trademarks in tags and descriptions.
Factual, descriptive use allowed:
“This add-on works with Photoshop CS5 and under”
“the code is jQuery enhanced"
Real World Products
If your item is allowed to have a real-world product as its focus (see the earlier rules on this), then you can use the relevant trademark in the item title, description or tag. For example, a phone mock-up, allowed in the graphics product mock-up category, can be descriptively titled iPhone 5 mock-up.