Twitter's Trademark Policy Simplified

November 13, 2012
To maintain the security of all Twitter users, rules and policies should be followed accordingly. Before deciding how much you want your profile to be set apart from others, first understand the website's trademark policy. Basically, a trademark policy violation on Twitter is described as the unlawful or improper use of a company name, logo or other related content that is already trademarked. People who mislead others by using the name in a way that might compromise or destroy the reputation of the legitimate company can be held liable. There are a number of things that online users can do to help protect businesses and individuals on Twitter.

No Violation, No Action

However, some things may not be deemed as a violation of the policy, according to Twitter. The company will only act on complaints that are confirmed to cause confusion or misrepresent the trademarked goods and products. As a general rule, the usernames on Twitter cannot be reserved and follow a first-come first-served policy. There are tips on the website that explain why some usernames are unavailable. Keywords cannot be disabled all the time. Advertisers should know that keywords to be used will have to be in accordance with trademark law.

What Twitter Can Do

Whenever Twitter gets reports of violations of its trademark rules, the account of the alleged violator will be reviewed first to determine if there were indeed misrepresentations made. Twitter can take action upon confirmation. Twitter may notify the account user first to correct the problem or suspend it immediately. If the misuse causes confusion but does not deliberately ruin or damage the trademarked product or company, the account user will be informed so that the necessary adjustments can be made. A username for the true trademark holder may be provided by the website, as well. If there is misuse of Promoted Trends, Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, Twitter can also fix the problem. Reports are usually made by the trademarked company but it is recommended that the rules and policies are reviewed first before forwarding complaints.

More Tips for Feeds and Accounts

Twitter does not generally check the content and posts of users. The company will not automatically delete or change the posts of users unless these violate the terms of service. Netizens, however, are advised to review the terms of service upon starting to use the social media platform. To properly make your account distinct from others and to avoid violating the trademark policy, the username must not be the trademark name of the subject of a fan account, news feed or commentary. The bio should also indicate that it is unrelated to the actual company. The profile name must not be similar to the trademarked name of the group or company. Conversing with others online should not be fraudulent or misleading in character. You can change the details on your information page,as well as profile picture, to adjust the account and make it unique from the trademarked company. The location and links provided should also clearly distinguish your affiliation. You can also be vigilant in reporting possible violations by providing information about your company, the trademark registration number and office, as well as the trademarked word that others may be using online.

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