I have a clothing brand I've been working on and really like the look of the STP Oil logo. I've seen some bigger name brands make parodies of logos like this before, I was wondering what the actual legality of this is?

I've heard of patagonia sending people cease and desists for logo rips, but I've also seen/heard companies never being contacted over a logo appropriation. Does this still fall under the parody law where atleast 30% of the image must be changed?

Essentially, I'd be changing the "S", "T" and "P" into the name of my brand, while using the general shape and colors. I originally planned to just use this for marketing on Instagram, but would I also be able to sell it on clothing later on?

Edit: Posted on law stackexchange as recommended by commentors.

  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a question for a lawyer.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 20, 2017 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


While parody can be protected under copyright law in the USA nobody here is your lawyer and we cannot give legal advice. Why don't you try also asking your question on https://law.stackexchange.com/ ?

Anyway, I think it might be legal to license a commercial font similar to STP and use colors similar to it as long as you are not selling auto products.

  • Oh this wouldn't be my main logo, just something to use for a social post. I have my own logo already copyrighted and in the queue for trademark. This is just a parody. I'll crosspost this over to law.stackexchange, thanks! Nov 20, 2017 at 15:36
  • @ether crossposting isn't always well received but I think it's okay in this instance, that's why I suggested it! Leave us a link to your post on law.stackexchange so we can see how it goes! Nov 20, 2017 at 15:39
  • In case other people might be curious because this is a graphic design related question. Here is the link to the answer from law.stackexchange law.stackexchange.com/questions/24245/… Nov 22, 2017 at 13:57

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