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When creating mockups for marketing material, what is the legality of using real products to demonstrate the use of your application?

Examples for any given application:

  • Google chrome with a website inside
  • The iPhone with an app inside
  • An Apple monitor with an app inside
  • Sublime text with some (freely usable) code in it

All of these things contain products created and sold by someone else, and quite possibly a logo, though they only provide a wrapper to the main content of the image. What is the legality of using these physical and digital products to market my own? Can they be used only if a logo isn't present?

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Similar question but not exactly a duplicate: Can I use my own photographs of a company's product for commercial purposes? –  JohnB Aug 13 at 19:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This will vary from product to product. I would encourage you to seek out the terms and conditions on a case by case basis. This might involve e-mailing the company, but sometimes the information is already made publicly available.

For example, here's Apple's marketing guidelines for iPads, iPhones, and iPods:

2.2 Image use

The Apple product images of iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch can be used only to promote your app available on the App Store. Feature only products for which your app is currently developed. Do not use the iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c and iPod touch (5th generation) product images if your app is not designed to display on the screen size and resolution of these products. For example, do not feature iPhone 5s unless your app displays at 326 pixels per inch at 1136-by-640 resolution. If you are promoting an app that is supported only by previous product versions, send email to appstoremarketing@apple.com to request the correct product image.

  • Always use the latest-generation Apple-provided product images.
  • Do not display an Apple product with a blank screen.
  • Do not display an Apple product on a cluttered background.

And here are Google's terms:

When using a Google product screenshot or data

We ask that you put the following tagline beneath any image featuring a Google product screenshot or data:

  • Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.
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This is actually a very good question. There are plenty of free mock-up templates on the web, that use Photoshop smart-objects. It's just a case of opening the file in Photoshop, double clicking the smart object and pasting in your screenshot. You can find a lot of excellent examples on pixeden. i.e http://www.pixeden.com/psd-mock-up-templates/cinema-display-psd-mockup. These are not actually using Apple stock images, somebody has taken the time to draw the product as a vector. If you want more professional mock up images that come with a small fee, Graphic River is the daddy of mock up templates. As for showing chrome browser etc, what ever your project is, this is bad practise highlighting the browser. Everyone uses different browsers. Most people do not show any of the browser graphics. There is no need.

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