Why was my content rejected for Visible Trademark?

If your image was rejected with "Image contains visible brand names or logos", it is most likely because your image contains brand names or logos, which are not acceptable for commercial use. 

We do not accept images that contain trademarks for commercial use, as they could potentially be used in a way that is likely to cause confusion of the source of certain products or services - and may therefore unfairly infringe on the trademark rights of others.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device - or a combination of these things - that is used to distinguish and identify the source of certain products or services. If a word, name, symbol, or device in your image brings to mind a specific product or service, then it may be protected by trademark. An example of a trademark is a company logo or a design that would be associated with a specific product or services, such as the "swoosh" logo on Nike sneakers.

Can I submit an image containing a visible trademark to Shutterstock for Commercial Use?

In order to prevent a misuse of a trademark or logo, we do not accept images containing isolated or visible trademarks or logos for commercial use.

Content that is designated for commercial use may be used by our customers for commercial purposes, such as in advertisements or product packaging. Therefore, Shutterstock does not accept content that contains visible trademarks for commercial use in order to prevent customers from inadvertently infringing a trademark.

The image below is not acceptable for commercial use, only for editorial:

User-added image

A man holding a Nintendo Switch console in Brewster, NY, USA on March 11, 2017. by Kyli Petersen

What can I do if my image contains a trademark?
  • If your image contains a trademark, you must remove the trademark from the image before you submit it for commercial use.
  • Content that contains visible trademarks may be submitted for editorial use, if it meets our editorial standards. Please refer to this article for more information: How do I submit editorial content?.

We Recommend
  • When taking pictures that you intend to sell as commercial stock, keep in mind that we do not accept any distinguishing visual clues or trademarks that relate to an already-existing brand or corporation.
  • If you are working with models, examine their wardrobes carefully to ensure no brand names or logos are visible.
  • Beware of shooting items that contain labels, or focusing on billboards or logos when shooting on the street.
  • If you create or shoot content featuring a visible trademark, consider cloning or blurring the trademark out so that the image or footage can be used commercially.
  • Alternatively, you may submit your image for editorial use, as long as it meets our editorial standards.
Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:

Contributor Blog Articles:

Understanding Trademarks
Informed Images: What to Consider When Creating Photos or Video for Commercial Use
Understanding the Basics of Copyrights

Guides and related Support Center Articles:

Submission and Account Guidelines
Known Image Restrictions List

ShutterTalk Live:

Legal Considerations for Submitting Content

If you don’t understand the reason for the rejection of your images or if you need additional clarification, you can always contact contributor support.

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