Is it ok / legal / allowed to copy some of the styles from stackoverflow / serverfault / etc. for use in a stack app?

1 Answer 1


Have a look to Trademark guidance.

Design of Your Product

  • Do not copy the look and feel of our products.

and quoting Joel answering a previous question:

Just be reasonable. Trademark law is based on the principle of not confusing "the reasonable person" as to the origin of goods and services.

So, i don't think it is a good idea to copy StackOverflow's CSS for your apps.

  • 2
    I assume something like StackTack falls under the "reasonable person" argument? Or StackTack is fine since they are just pulling data verbatim? stackapps.com/questions/518/… Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 12:52
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    @mlaw - you should use the '@' notation in a comment (like Kevin and I did) to ensure that an addressed commenter get's notified about your follow up question (e.g. you seem to be asking @Kevin here specifically ;) - otherwise only the original posters of answers/questions (e.g. systempuntoout here) will get this notification. Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 13:40
  • @Steffen thanks. Since I can't edit a comment, I guess I'll have to re-post that one for Kevin to get the notification? Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 14:11
  • @Kevin please see the second comment. Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 14:12
  • @mlaw - StackTack doesn't copy our L&F verbatim, and also can be distinguished from SO by a reasonable person. Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 20:34

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