The FAQs in this section provide some information about trademarks. This includes what trademarks do and don't protect, how you can avoid infringing the trademarks of other people when posting to Untappd and how Untappd addresses reports of trademark infringement. If you believe someone is infringing on your trademark, you can submit a new ticket here.

Please note that laws in different countries may vary. For more information on trademark law, you can visit the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Untappd can't provide you with legal advice, so you may want to speak with an attorney if you have more questions about trademarks.

What are trademarks and what do they protect?

A trademark is a word, slogan, symbol or design (for example, a brand name or logo) that a person or company uses to distinguish their products or services from those offered by others. A trademark is protectable when it’s used in a distinctive way to identify a product or service. Whether you know it or not, you see trademarks all day long, whether in stores shopping, watching commercials on TV and so on.

Generally, trademark law seeks to protect consumers from being confused about who provides, endorses or is affiliated with a particular product or service. To prevent this situation, a trademark owner may be able to stop others from using their trademark (or a similar trademark) without permission if that use may cause confusion.

Not all terms are subject to trademark protection under the law. Protection depends on a variety of factors, including how unique, generic or descriptive the trademark is and the manner that it’s used. For example, the term “Banana” may be protectable as a trademark to identify an electronics company, but perhaps not to describe a banana farm. In addition, many trademark owners obtain registrations for their trademarks under relevant law, but registration may not be necessary for a trademark to be protected.

Please note that Untappd can’t adjudicate disputes between third parties, and so we wouldn’t be in a position to act on trademark reports that require an in-depth trademark analysis. This is also the case for trademark reports that appear to involve a real-world dispute that wouldn’t be resolved by any action that Untappd could take. In these situations, rather than contacting Untappd, you may want to reach out directly to the party that you believe is infringing your rights, or seek any resolution in court or by other judicial means. If you’re sure you want to report content on Untappd that you believe infringes your trademark, you can do so by submitting a new ticket.

What is trademark infringement?

Generally, trademark infringement occurs when:

  1. A person uses a trademark owner’s trademark (or similar trademark) without permission
  2. That person’s use is in commerce, meaning that it’s done in connection with the sale or promotion of goods or services AND
  3. That use is likely to confuse consumers about the source, endorsement or affiliation of the person’s goods or services

The touchstone of trademark infringement is often “likelihood of confusion,” and there are many factors that are considered to determine if a use of a trademark is likely to cause confusion. For example, when a person’s trademark is also used by someone else, but on unrelated goods or services, that use may not be infringement because it may not cause confusion. Which party used the trademark first can often be an important consideration as well. There are also many limits to trademark rights, such as geographic limitations, as well as the ability for someone to use your trademark to lawfully comment on or criticize your goods or services.

Please note that the law in different countries relating to trademark rights and trademark infringement can vary. If you’re not sure if a particular use of a trademark would be considered infringement, you may want to consult with an attorney.

How can I make sure the content I post to Untappd doesn't violate trademark law?

Under Untappd's Terms of Use you can only post content to Untappd if it doesn't violate the intellectual property rights of another party, including trademarks. Please note that as an Untappd user, you are responsible for the content you post. If your content violates Untappd's policies or is reported to Untappd as infringing the intellectual property rights of another party, Untappd may remove that content.

Before you post content, you might want to ask:

  • Have I used someone else's trademark to sell or promote goods or services in a way that may confuse people?

  • Does my use of a trademark only refer to someone else’s goods or services, or make some other type of non-infringing use of the trademark (example: using a trademarked word in its ordinary dictionary meaning, or using the trademark in a way that is not related to the sale or promotion of products or services)?

If you have questions about trademark law or whether your content infringes another party’s trademark rights, you may want to contact an attorney.

What information do I need to include in a trademark report?

The fastest and easiest way to submit a report of trademark infringement to us is to submit a new ticket. Whether you submit your report through our online form or another method, Untappd needs the following information to be able to process your report:

  • Your complete contact information (full name, mailing address, and phone number)*

  • The specific word, symbol, etc., in which you claim trademark rights.

  • The basis for your claim of trademark rights (such as a national or community registration), including registration number, if applicable

  • The country or jurisdiction in which you claim trademark rights

  • The category of goods and/or services for which you assert rights

  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material on Untappd that you believe violates your trademark rights. The easiest way to do this is by providing web addresses (URLs) leading directly to the allegedly infringing content.

  • A description of how you believe this content infringes your trademark

  • If you are not the rights holder, an explanation of your relationship to the rights holder

  • A declaration that:
    • You have a good faith belief that use of the trademark described above, in the manner you have complained of, is not authorized by the trademark owner, its agent, or the law

    • The information in your notice is accurate

    • You declare, under penalty of perjury, that you are the owner or authorized to act on behalf of the owner of a trademark that is allegedly infringed

  • Your electronic signature or physical signature

*Please note that we regularly provide the rights owner’s name, your email address and the details of your report to the person who posted the content you are reporting. This person may contact you with the information you provide. You may wish to provide a valid generic business or professional email address for this reason.

I submitted a trademark report to Untappd. What happens now?

If you submitted a trademark report to us through our new ticket form or via email, you’ll receive an automated email that contains information about your report, including a unique report number. You should save this number in case you need to contact us about your report.

Sometimes, we might have a question about your report. In this case, we might respond to your report and ask for more information. If you receive an email from our team asking for more information about your report, you can and should respond directly to that email. Once our team receives your response, they can continue to look into your report.

Please note that Untappd is not in a position to adjudicate disputes between third parties, and may not be able to remove the content you reported for trademark infringement. You may want to contact the person who posted the reported content to try to resolve your issue with them directly.

Note: Parts of this document we taken from Instagram's Trademark Help: