How similiar i can go with model to be safe to use it in game

Ok, so when you’re creating models which you’re going to use in your game it’s good thing to look @ existing thing to make your model look more real. Now, i like one desing so much that i’ve created a model of industrial engine which looks like real one. I mean i didn’t use ruler to make it so it’s not exacly the same, there is a lot of details missing, things are in slightly different places etc.

Question is, can i legally use it? I’ve tried to look for answer with google but it’s really hard to find clear answer on this topic, so maybe u could help me?


At least when it comes to cars, no you can’t copy existing ones without at least making significant changes in order for them to be considered something different. People have been sued before by companies for using likeness to their products.

This is one of those questions where to be certain, you need to consult with a lawyer specializing in the field and their answer is likely to be “there are subjective guidelines that can only be determined during a trial”. Plus the laws are different all around the world. I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t even do that.

As a ridiculously broad over-generalization overview:

  • The more money is involved in your project, the stronger these sorts of legal concerns become. Non-commercial projects can usually get away with things that commercial projects can’t.
  • Even companies that would turn a blind eye will generally react to any negative depiction of their brand, law suits for damages and defamation tend to hit a lot harder than copyright or trademark challenges.
  • If an object has to be a particular shape to perform its function (a pen needs a point that it writes with) then it’s a lot safer to duplicate that sort of shape in your model rather than something stylized and unique to the product in question. Especially if that characteristic is a registered trademark of the brand (coca-cola’s “contour” bottle design for example, rather than a generic 1950s milk bottle).

Hope that helps, but short of contacting the company and asking their permission it’s difficult to get an answer with any degree of certainty. If it’s for a commercial project, then it’s probably worth also consulting with a lawyer over this sort of legal concern.

Yep, thanks, that doesn’t solve the case but definitely helps a lot. I screwed bcoz i liked this shape so much that i kinda zoned out and did it too similiar even if all my models are custom made. I guess i’ll change shape just enough to fit “the pen” case. Better safe than sorry. Thank u again.