We're in the process of building an application that has the ability for a user to store their files within it. When they view a certain page within our product, we need to display a list of all the files they have stored so far. For that page, we have gone for the "Windows Explorer" look and feel and are displaying the filename of the file, along with an icon.
The design specification is suggesting we use the "standard" icon for each file type (so, the icon we use for a word document is the same icon that appears when you've got Microsoft Word installed, and the zip file icon we use is the winzip icon, etc).
I have queried the legal position on doing this, as, in effect, we will be using other companies icons within our application without their express permission. However, I have seen many instances of other applications (for example, WinRAR) which obviously haven't seeked permission to use the icons within their product, as they simply query the operating system for which icon to display.
Please can you advise?