Recently, Twitter revealed its new trademark guidelines regarding the proper use of the Twitter name and trademarks.
Some key terms of the new trademark guidelines are as follows:
1. When users promote their own Twitter accounts, they need to use the proper Twitter logo and ensure the letter "T" in Twitter is capitalized.
2. When mentioning Twitter on TV or any other public forum, users should refer to the company as Twitter and messages as Tweets. Also unless expressly given permission to do so, do not imply an endorsement or relationship with Twitter.
3. Users must not ever manipulate or change the Twitter logo. Furthermore, ensure the Twitter logo is not next to your logo to imply an association.
4. When developing Twitter applications, developers are now forbidden to use Twitter or Tweet in the name of the app.
5. Developers are also forbidden from copying the look and feel of the Twitter website in developing applications and websites.
Twitter's new trademark guidelines were necessary in order for Twitter to protect and manage its brand. Remember a trademark owner can lose trademark rights if the trademark is not controlled and managed. Specifically, a trademark owners has to:
1. Ensure the mark does not become generic (a common name for the goods or services and ceases to function as a source for the goods);
2. Ensure trademark infringers are prosecuted effectively and swiftly. A trademark owner that allows anyone to use their trademark without prosecuting infringers, has a weak trademark. A weak trademark is one that is no longer considered unique to the trademark owner's product or service.
Trademark Guidelines Assist in Brand Management
Trademark guidelines are first steps in alerting the public to the proper use of a company's trademarks and ultimately brand. They ensure the trademark is used properly; forbids impermissable uses or as Twitter states "the lawyers get involved"; and clearly gives direction as to when express permission or a license is needed for use.
Trademark Guidelines are especially important if your brand is entering a partnership with another brand or if your brand is used by multitudes of people.
Does your brand have trademark guidelines in place?