I am developing an Android application which uses the API of Stack Exchange. And what I want is to use the Stack Exchange icon as my application icon.

Is it legal to use that icon?

  • See: stackexchange.com/legal/trademark-guidance – hammar May 7 '13 at 13:26
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    As an aside, this is one of those questions where the "downvote if you disagree" meta policy doesn't make any sense. It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask and it likely will be useful to have around, even if the answer happens to be "no". – Adam Lear May 7 '13 at 13:31
  • @AnnaLear I think it makes sense for answers, but for questions it seems like the worthiness of asking the question is a more useful criteria. – Hannele May 7 '13 at 13:35
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    @Hannele I think this question is certainly 'worthy' of being asked. The answer might seem obvious to some, but not everyone. The number of apps/sites that mis-use the logo could make some think that it's OK, too. – Andrew Barber May 7 '13 at 13:50

In our Trademark Guidance we say:

The logos associated with Stack Exchange Inc. and any Stack Exchange site are a trademark. The purpose of trademark law is to prevent consumers from being misled as to the origin of a product. So if you were making a product, and you used a Stack Exchange name or logo in your product (or in its advertising) in such a way that would mislead someone into thinking that your product was owned by, operated by, endorsed by, or in any way part of Stack Exchange Inc., you would be violating the trademark and this would not be legal.

Our logo images and site names are copyrighted. Any content on the Stack Exchange Network not contributed by users is copyrighted. Copyright is different than trademark. Ordinarily you couldn't copy it. But if you were writing a news story or blog post about a Stack Exchange site, reproducing the logo image would almost certainly be considered "fair use" and allowed under trademark law because you were not using it "in trade."


The logo is copyrighted by Stack Exchange, as can be seen in the legal notice on StackExchange.com.

The Network and its contents are intended solely for the use of the Network Subscribers and may only be used in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. All materials displayed or performed on the Network, including, but not limited to text, graphics, logos, tools, photographs, images, illustrations, software or source code, audio and video, and animations (collectively, “Content”) (other than Content posted by Subscriber (“Subscriber Content”)) are the property of Stack Exchange and/or third parties and are protected by United States and international copyright laws.

(emphasis mine)

This can also be seen in the footer:

site design / logo © 2013 stack exchange inc;

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    I am new user of stackexchange. so don't know about it. newaz thanks.. – Dhara May 7 '13 at 13:30
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    You don't have to be familiar with Stack Exchange to understand basic trademark and copyright law. – BoltClock's a Unicorn May 7 '13 at 14:25

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