Trademark and counterfeiting

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What is a trademark?  •  How to obtain trademark protection  •  Are you allowed to use another person's registered trademark on TikTok without their permission?  •  What to do if your trademark has been infringed on TikTok  •  What happens after a trademark infringement claim has been submitted to TikTok?  •  What to do if your content has been incorrectly removed for trademark infringement  •  Does TikTok give strikes for repeated trademark infringements?  •  How to avoid having your content removed for trademark infringement  •  What is counterfeiting?  •  What types of goods are counterfeited?  •  Why is counterfeiting harmful?  •  Is counterfeiting illegal?  •  How to avoid counterfeiting on TikTok 

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, symbol, slogan, design, or combination of any of the foregoing that identifies the source of a product or service and distinguishes it from other products or services.

How to obtain trademark protection

You can obtain trademark protection through registration at a national or regional trademark office. For more information on the requirements for registering a trademark, visit the relevant trademark office website.

In general, the scope of protection doesn't only apply to an identical mark used on the same goods or services, but also extends to similar marks used on related goods or services in the jurisdiction(s) that the mark is registered in. Trademark protection typically lasts for 10 years and will lapse if the registration is not renewed.

If you have any questions on trademark requirements in your country or region, you may want to seek legal advice.

Are you allowed to use another person's registered trademark on TikTok without their permission?

Our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines do not allow posting, sharing, or sending any content that violates or infringes upon another party’s copyrights, trademarks or other intellectual property (IP) rights. This includes the unauthorized use of another person's registered trademark in connection with goods or services in a way that is likely to cause confusion, deception or mistake about the source, origin, sponsorship or affiliation of the associated goods and/or services.

The following purposes for using another's trademark are generally not considered a violation of our policies:
•  Accurately referencing, lawfully commenting, criticizing, parodying, or reviewing the trademark owner’s products or services. For example, posting product reviews and referring to the trademark as a way to identify the source of the product.
•  Comparing them to other products or services, where the mark is not used to designate the user’s own goods or services or those of a third party.
•  Making a fan page about a brand, even without the brand’s permission, provided you don't claim to speak for or be associated with the brand or otherwise violate the brand’s IP rights.

Keep in mind, we may reset your username if it infringes another party's trademark rights. However, ownership of a trademark doesn't necessarily entitle the trademark owner to a username that's identical or similar to the mark, if that username doesn't infringe the trademark owner's rights.

What to do if your trademark has been infringed on TikTok

If you believe that another user has infringed your trademark, you may directly contact the user to resolve the matter. Alternatively, you may submit a Trademark Infringement Report to request the removal of the alleged infringing content from TikTok.

To report trademark infringement on TikTok:
1.  In the TikTok app, tap the Share button on the side of the video you'd like to report.
2.  Tap Report.
3.  Tap Intellectual property infringement.
4.  Tap Trademark Infringement Report and follow the instructions provided.

You can also use our online form to report IP infringement on TikTok.

Keep in mind:
•  You'll need to provide all required and accurate information, including a valid trademark registration certificate in your submission or your complaint may be denied.
•  You must be the owner of the infringed trademark, or their authorized representative, to submit a trademark infringement report. Please ensure that supporting documentation identifying you as the owner or authorized representative is included in the report.
•  If you intentionally submit a misleading or fraudulent report, it may lead to liability for damages under laws in applicable countries.

To report trademark infringements in advertisements, you can contact us through our online form.

To report trademark infringements on TikTok Shop, you can contact us through our online form.

What happens after a trademark infringement claim has been submitted to TikTok?

All trademark infringement claims will be reviewed by our team of IP specialists. We'll assess whether the report contains all necessary information for us to investigate the claims and has been submitted by the trademark owner or their authorized representative. We may reach out to you to provide any missing information. We recommend responding promptly to minimize any delays.

If we determine the content violates our Intellectual Property Policy, we'll remove it from the platform. We'll notify both the reporter and the reported person of the action taken.

What to do if your content has been incorrectly removed for trademark infringement

You'll receive an in-app notification if your content has been removed for trademark infringment. If you believe your content was incorrectly removed because you're authorized to use the trademark or you believe you have the right to use the trademark, you can submit an appeal in the TikTok app. You can also submit an appeal through our Counter Notification Form. You'll need to provide all required information, including your contact information and any evidence to support your claim or your appeal may be denied.

The following appeal reasons, without any valid supporting evidence, are generally not accepted:
•  There are other users who are also using the trademark in a similar manner.
•  You didn't know you weren't allowed to use the trademark without permission.
•  Right to freedom of speech to post the content.

If your appeal is approved, we'll reinstate your content.

Does TikTok give strikes for repeated trademark infringements?

Yes. Under TikTok's Repeat Infringer Policy, we issue a strike to users if their content was removed due to trademark infringement. There is a limit of 3 strikes for each IP type, then we'll permanently remove the account. We count strikes for copyright and trademark infringements separately. For example, if you obtain 2 strikes for copyright infringement and 2 strikes for trademark infringement, your account won't be banned. However, if you obtain 3 strikes for trademark infringement and one strike for copyright infringement, your account will be banned.

We reserve the right to immediately remove any account for a violation of our Community Guidelines, regardless of the number of strikes.

Accrued strikes will expire from your record after 90 days. We may also remove violations if the trademark infringement report is retracted or your appeal is approved.

How to avoid having your content removed for trademark infringement

You should obtain permission from the trademark owner before using their trademark on any product or service, especially if used for commercial purposes. You should also avoid using the trademark in a manner that is likely to confuse other users about the official source of the product or service.

If you're using the trademark for the purposes of reviewing, parodying, or making a fan page about a brand, it's advisable to clearly indicate this in the account profile and/or content. Keep in mind, this doesn't guarantee that the content won't be removed for trademark infringement.

Additionally, lack of knowledge is not a valid defense against trademark infringement.

What is counterfeiting?

Counterfeiting is the illegal manufacturing, importing and exporting, distributing, selling or otherwise dealing in goods, often of inferior quality, under a mark that is identical to or substantially similar to a registered trademark, without the trademark owner's permission.

What types of goods are counterfeited?

Counterfeit goods span multiple industries, including apparel, accessories, music, software, medications, cigarettes, alcohol, automobile and airplane parts, consumer goods, toys, electronics, and more. Counterfeiting commonly affects luxury goods.

Why is counterfeiting harmful?

The sale of counterfeit goods is potentially harmful in the following ways:
•  Threat to public safety: Counterfeit goods may use substandard components that are harmful or dangerous. These include counterfeit equipment that does not meet safety standards and counterfeit cosmetics that contain allergens or harmful substances.
•  Loss of business revenue: Brand owners devote significant resources to developing, designing and marketing their products. Counterfeiters misappropriate these contributions by offering illegitimate goods at lower prices, thereby diverting consumers away from the original brand owners and impacting their sales.
•  Supporting organized crime: Profits from the sale of counterfeit goods have been known to support organized crime such as terrorism, drug and human trafficking, and the exploitation of child labor.

Is counterfeiting illegal?

Counterfeiting is illegal and most jurisdictions have strong laws that criminalize such activity.

We don't permit the purchase, sale, trade, or solicitation of counterfeit goods on TikTok. You should report any content that engages in such activity through the Trademark Infringement Report form, indicating counterfeit goods as the issue type. We'll promptly remove any content that violates our Intellectual Property Policy.

How to avoid counterfeiting on TikTok

Do not post, upload, stream, or share any content that offers the purchase, sale, trade, or solicitation of counterfeit goods. You should also avoid showcasing, providing links to, or otherwise promoting such goods. For example, users who post unboxing videos or product reviews of counterfeit goods may have their content removed for a violation of our Community Guidelines.

If you're unsure whether a particular good might be counterfeit, look out for the following attributes:
 •  Price: Counterfeit goods are usually priced significantly lower than the original goods.
 •  Packaging: Counterfeit goods are often sold without packaging or packaging that is of low quality or has spelling mistakes.
 •  Place: Counterfeit goods are usually sold in online marketplaces and not on the official brand websites or by authorized resellers. A useful tip is to check the product description, FAQs, contact details, and other such information for spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.

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