Updated October 3, 2012
What is a Trademark Policy Violation on Twitter?
Using a company or business name, logo, or other trademark-protected materials in a manner that may mislead or confuse others with regard to its brand or business affiliation may be considered a trademark policy violation.
How Does Twitter Respond To Reported Trademark Policy Violations?
When we receive reports of trademark policy violations from holders of federal or international trademark registrations, we review the account and may take the following actions:
- When there is a clear intent to mislead others through the unauthorized use of a trademark, Twitter will suspend the account and notify the account holder.
- When we determine that an account appears to be confusing users, but is not purposefully passing itself off as the trademarked good or service, we give the account holder an opportunity to clear up any potential confusion. We may also release a username for the trademark holder's active use.
- We are responsive to reports about confusing or misleading Promoted Tweet and Promoted Trend copy, as well as Promoted Account profile information. For more information, please visit our Trademark Policy for Promoted Products.
What Is not a Trademark Policy Violation?
Using another's trademark in a way that has nothing to do with the product or service for which the trademark was granted is not a violation of Twitter's trademark policy.
- Twitter usernames are provided on a first-come, first-served basis and may not be reserved. For information on why you may not be able to select a certain username, please see our Why Can't I Register Certain Usernames help page.
- Search and interest keywords advertisers choose are subject to applicable trademark law. Although Twitter may review reports of confusing keywords, we may not disable keywords in every case. For more information about our policies specific to Promoted Products, please see our Promoted Products Policy and our Trademark Policy for Promoted Products.
Reseller Policy (applies only to the United States)
Resellers may promote the resale of the genuine branded goods of a trademark holder, provided that they comply with certain restrictions:
- The reseller may not imply affiliation with the trademark owner, such as by falsely representing that it is an authorized agent of the brand owner
- The goods must not be materially different from those that have been authorized for sale by the brand owner
- If the goods have been repackaged, this fact must be clearly stated
Guidelines for News feed, Commentary, and Fan Accounts
Twitter users are allowed to create news feed, commentary, and fan accounts. Twitter provides a platform for its users to share and receive a wide range of ideas and content, and we greatly value and respect our users' expression. Because of these principles, we do not actively monitor users' content and will not edit or remove user content, except in cases of violations of our Terms of Service.
An account's profile information should make it clear that the account is not actually the company or business entity that is the subject of the news feed/commentary/fan account. Here are some suggestions for distinguishing your account:
- Username: The username should not be the trademarked name of the subject of the news feed, commentary, or fan account.
- Name: The profile name should not be the trademarked name of the company or include the trademarked name in a misleading manner.
- Bio: The bio should include a statement to distinguish it from the real company, such as “Unofficial Account," "Fan Account," or "Not affiliated with…"
- Profile photo, header photo, or background image: The account should not use another’s trademark, logo or other copyright-protected image without express permission.
- Communication with other users: The account should not, through private or public communication with other users, try to deceive or mislead others about your identity.
Users may also choose to use different language to indicate that an account is not associated with the actual brand/company/product so long as it is clear and not confusing to others, and does not mislead or deceive.
If an account is reported to be confusing, we may request that the account holder make further changes to bring the account in compliance with these best practices.
How Can I Make My Own Account's Brand or Business Affiliation Clear?
We strongly recommend that you use all of Twitter's account settings (account name, location, web, and bio) to make your account's affiliation clear.
- Please see our How to Change Your Profile Picture or Information page for instructions on customizing your account. In particular, we recommend clearly stating your location, including your website if you have one, and clearly describing your brand or business in the bio, if applicable.
- You can also consider linking your official website to your Twitter account. Twitter Buttons are an easy way to add Twitter actions like “Follow” and “Mention” directly to your website.
What Information is Required When Reporting Trademark Policy Violations?
In order to investigate trademark policy violations, please provide all of the following information:
Username of the reported account (e.g., @safety or http://www.twitter.com/safety):
Your company name:
Your company Twitter account (if there is one):
Your trademarked word, symbol, etc. (e.g. Twitter):
Trademark registration number:
Trademark registration office (e.g., USPTO):
Note: A federal or international trademark registration number is required. If the name you are reporting is not a registered mark (e.g., a government agency or non-profit organization), please let us know:
Your first and last name:
Email (must be from company domain):
Description of confusion (e.g., passing off as your company, including specific descriptions of content or behavior):
Requested Action (e.g., removal of violating account or transfer of trademarked username to an existing company account):
How Do I Report a Trademark Policy Violation?
You do not need a Twitter account to submit a trademark report. Holders of registered trademarks can report possible violations to Twitter's Policy Team through our support forms.
Please submit trademark-related requests from your company email address and follow the format above to help expedite our response. Also, be sure to clearly describe to us why the account or Tweets may cause confusion with your mark.