Trademark Usage Guidelines for OEMs

The name Microsoft is synonymous with high-quality computer software and hardware products and services. Throughout the world, thousands of products produced every day bear the trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft trademarks are extremely valuable, and proper use of Microsoft trademarks is important. They represent the standards of excellence and consistent quality associated with Microsoft. The following guidelines were designed to help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) properly refer to Microsoft trademarks in text, correctly use logos in different circumstances, properly use box shots and screen shots, and follow other trademark usage guidelines for Microsoft materials.

Referring to Microsoft Trademarks in Text

This section contains the guidelines for referring to Microsoft trademarks in text.

Properly Identify Microsoft Brand Products

Follow these guidelines when referring to Microsoft brand products in the text of your materials. See the examples that follow for the correct Microsoft brands and their descriptors. Trademark registration symbols should be applied accordingly.

  • Microsoft software

  • Windows operating system

  • Encarta multimedia encyclopedia

  • FrontPage Web site creation and management tool

  • MSN Internet Services

  • Outlook messaging software

  • PowerPoint presentation graphics program

  • Xbox video game system

For a current list of Microsoft trademarks, see the Microsoft Trademarks list.

Use Trademark Notices

Include an attribution of Microsoft ownership of the trademark(s) within the credit notice section of your documentation or advertisement. Follow this format:

  • Microsoft, MSN, and Windows Vista are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Do Not Shorten, Abbreviate, or Create Acronyms for Microsoft Trademarks


  • This product works with the Windows XP® and Windows Vista® operating systems.


  • This product works with XP and Vista.

  • This product works with WinXP and Windows Vista.

Do Not Use Inappropriate Descriptors

Microsoft trademarks identify specific products and services. Do not incorrectly refer to applications, services, or hardware devices that work with Microsoft products. For example, do not refer to products or services that work with the Windows operating system as "Windows applications," "Windows services," or "Windows hardware." If necessary, these types of products can be referred to by their relationship to the Windows operating system by inserting the word based between the name Windows and the type of product designed to work with Windows.


  • SpreadsheetXYZ is a Windows-based application.


  • SpreadsheetXYZ is a Windows application.

Set Microsoft Trademarks Apart from Other Words or Nouns They Modify

The common way to set trademarks apart from other words is to capitalize the product name and use the appropriate trademark symbol and appropriate descriptor. You can also use underlining, italic type, or bold type to set the name apart.


  • After you install the Windows® operating system.


  • After installing windows programs.

Do Not Use Microsoft Trademarks in the Possessive or Plural Form

Microsoft trademarks should never be used in the possessive or plural form. They should be introduced as a proper adjective followed by an appropriate descriptor.


  • These presentations were created by using PowerPoint presentation manager.


  • Widget Software Company included some PowerPoints in its presentation.

Logo Use

This section contains information about Microsoft logo programs and corporate logo guidelines.

Logo Programs

Microsoft logos, including compatibility logos such as the Windows Vista logo for hardware, may be used only under license from Microsoft Corporation. For more information about existing programs, see the Logo Programs page or contact your account manager or sales representative.

Product-Specific Logos

Microsoft product-specific logos and icons may only be used only for limited advertising purposes under express written permission or agreement from Microsoft Corporation. No Microsoft brand elements or identity ("Elements")-(including but not limited to product names, logos, designs, icons, photography, taglines, logotypes, trade dress, Web site layout, product packaging, or colors arranged in a manner suggestive of Microsoft's Web sites-). ("Elements") may be used other than as provided by Microsoft in writing. Microsoft reserves the right in at its sole discretion to terminate or modify permission to display any Elements, and may request that you modify or delete use of any Element.

Microsoft Corporate Logo

The Microsoft corporate logo ("Logo") may be used only pursuant to the guidelines in this document to identify Microsoft Corporation, or Microsoft products or services. Any use that falls outside what is outlined herein is strictly prohibited.

Microsoft Corporate Logo Guidelines

The Microsoft Corporate logo ("Logo") may only be used pursuant to the guidelines in this document to identify Microsoft Corporation, or Microsoft products or services. Any use that falls outside what is outlined herein is strictly prohibited.

  1. The Logo may be used by OEMs only to refer to Microsoft Corporation: (i) in advertising, marketing collateral, or a Web site that states the OEM's connection with Microsoft (for example, the material states that the OEM is an authorized distributor of Microsoft products) provided that the area in which the Microsoft logo is used includes the corporate logo of at least one other company that has a similar relationship to the OEM, or (ii) in an area of a Web site, advertising, or marketing collateral exclusively dedicated to the sale of Microsoft products, and in such a manner that associates licensed Microsoft software with the Microsoft corporate logo.

  2. The Logo may not be used on any OEM product casing or packaging.

  3. The Logo may not be used in any manner that might imply that any non-Microsoft materials-including but not limited to goods, services, Web sites, or publications-are sponsored by, endorsed by, licensed by, or affiliated with Microsoft.

  4. The Logo may not be displayed as a primary or prominent feature on any non-Microsoft materials. Companies that use the Logo pursuant to these guidelines must also display, in the primary and more prominent position, their own logo(s), business name, product names, or other branding.

  5. The Logo may not be imitated or used as a design feature in any manner.

  6. The Logo may not be used in a manner that would disparage Microsoft Corporation or its products or services.

  7. The Logo must be used as provided by Microsoft Corporation without changes including, but not limited to changes in the color, proportion, or design, or removal of any words, artwork, or trademark symbols. The Logo may not be animated, morphed, or otherwise distorted in perspective or appearance.

  8. Use only approved Microsoft logo artwork:

    • The Logo must appear in black or reversed out to white only. The Logo may never be screened back, built out of four-color process screens, or broken into multiple colors.

    • The Logo must always be accompanied by the registered trademark symbol (®).

  9. To properly stage the Logo, a minimum clearance between the Logo and other elements must be maintained. The cap height of the M in the Logo indicates the measurement of minimum clearance between the Logo and other elements on all sides of the Logo.

  10. The Logo must always be at least 60 pixels in width.

  11. The Logo must appear only in a horizontal position.

  12. The Logo must stand alone and may not be combined with any other object, including but not limited to other logos, words, graphics, photos, slogans, numbers, design features, or symbols. The Logo must never be used to represent the word Microsoft in text, including in a headline, product-name logotype, or body copy.

  13. The Logo must not be incorporated or used in any manner as part of, or in close proximity to another company's name, domain name, product or service name, logo, trade dress, design, slogan, or other trademarks. The Logo must never appear with any other symbol or icon (except the registered trademark symbol); contained within a box, circle, or other shape; or combined with any other name, logo, or icon to create a co-branded logo.

  14. The attribution clause "Microsoft is a trademark of the Microsoft group of companies"  must accompany use of the Logo.

  15. Neither the Logo nor the Microsoft name may be used in any OEM company name, product name, service name, domain name, Web site title, publication title, or the like.

  16. OEM advertising and product information should not mimic any Microsoft advertising, product packaging, or Web site design.

Microsoft reserves the right in at its sole discretion to terminate or modify permission to display the Logo, and may request that you modify or delete any use of the Logo that, in the Microsoft's sole judgment of Microsoft, does not comply with these guidelines, or might otherwise impair Microsoft's rights in the Logo. Microsoft further reserves the right to object to unfair uses or misuses of its trademarks or other violations of applicable law.

Microsoft Tagline

Under no circumstance may you use, imitate, or play off the Microsoft corporate tagline, "Your Potential. Our Passion.TM"  This tagline is reserved for exclusive use by Microsoft Corporation.

Use of Box Shots and Screen Shots

This section contains information about the use of box shots and screen shots of Microsoft products.

Box Shots

Product box shots may be used in their entirety to represent full packaged product. They may be used only as depicted in the artwork provided by Microsoft, and pursuant to the guidelines located at the links below.

Visit the Copyrights: Use of Images page for specific guidelines about screen shots

View the Microsoft Product Tile Use Guidelines

Product Tiles

Product tiles may be used when product box shots are not available or are not applicable. They may be used only as depicted in the artwork provided by Microsoft and pursuant to the guidelines at the link below.

View the Microsoft Product Tile Use Guidelines

Screen Shots

Screen shots may be used pursuant to the guidelines for screen shots at the link below.

Visit the Copyrights: Use of Images page for specific guidelines about screen shots

Additional Guidelines for Advertising Collateral, Marketing, and Product Packaging

  • Do not imitate Microsoft logos, logotypes, trade dress, or other elements of Microsoft product packaging and Web sites in any of your materials, including advertising, product packaging, Web sites, and promotional materials.

  • Do not use any Microsoft trademark in any manner that expresses or implies Microsoft affiliation, sponsorship, endorsement, certification, or approval of your product or company. The only exception to this applies to specific products that are licensed to use one of the Microsoft compatibility logos, such as the Designed for Windows logo.

  • Do not place your company name, trademarks, service marks, or product names next to (or combine them with) a Microsoft product name on packaging, disk labels, or advertisements.

  • Do not use any Microsoft trademark in such a manner that it appears Microsoft is legally associated with your company, beyond your company's authorization to distribute authentic Microsoft products.

  • Do not market your products or services under names that are confusingly similar to the names of those Microsoft products you are licensed to distribute.

  • Display your company or product name more prominently than any Microsoft trademark on all materials.

  • Retain all copyright, trademark, and patent notices in Microsoft software and documentation from Microsoft. You must comply with any notice from Microsoft to change any of the copyright, trademark, or patent notices.

  • Market Microsoft products under the name and version numbers identified by Microsoft, and designate Microsoft trademarks with the appropriate ® and TM symbols.

  • If requested, you must supply Microsoft with samples of finished product and marketing materials that contain any Microsoft trademarks prior to shipping them.

  • If you are aware of any trademark infringement actions that arise from your use of the Microsoft product name, advise Microsoft promptly.