As per our Acceptable Use Policy, Section 5 of our Terms of Service, Vimeo users may not submit content that infringes any third party’s copyright or other rights, including trademarks.
In this article:
- Submitting trademark infringement claims
- How Vimeo reviews a trademark infringement claim
- Assessment of a trademark infringement claim
- Appealing a trademark infringement decision
Submitting trademark infringement claims
If you believe a Vimeo user has submitted content that infringes your trademark, we strongly encourage you to contact them directly to try to resolve the issue before submitting a claim (you can do this by joining Vimeo and sending the user a message through their Vimeo profile).
If you are unable to contact the user, or after doing so, cannot resolve the issue with them, you may submit a claim using Vimeo’s Trademark Complaint Form. Please provide as much relevant information as possible when you submit the form as this will help our team review your complaint and make a decision.
How Vimeo reviews a trademark infringement claim
Trademarks can be infringed in various ways. However, not all uses of someone else’s trademark constitute infringement. There are cases where the use of a trademark is considered “fair use” (even if the owner did not consent to it). In reviewing a trademark claim, and in order to determine whether there has been an infringement, Vimeo will consider the following factors:
- Use of the trademark
- What is the trademark being used for?
- Does the user’s content show a trademark with the purpose of reviewing or criticizing a product or service?
- Does the use of the mark in the user’s content suggest or imply an affiliation or sponsorship?
- Proximity of products or services
- Does the product or service in the user’s content have a similar use or function as the trademark owner’s?
- Likelihood of confusion
- Has the user used the content in question in an attempt to cause confusion or mistake or to deceive others? (This is known (the “likelihood of confusion” test, which is key to determining whether the use of a trademark constitutes infringement or not)
- Is there actual evidence of confusion (among those that have been exposed to the user’s content)?
- Strength of the mark: There are 4 general categories of trademark, with the first being the least protected and the last having the most protection
- Generic. A generic term is a common description that does not receive trademark protection. Generic terms may be used freely.
- Descriptive. A term that describes the nature of the goods or services will only be afforded trademark protection if the owner proves an additional meaning resulting from the public’s connection of the mark with the owner’s goods or services.
- Suggestive. A term that makes an implication about the good or service without describing anything in particular (e.g. Jaguar (vehicles).
- Arbitrary or Fanciful.
- A fanciful trademark is one that the owner has made up or created for the sole purpose of marketing their product or service under a trademark (e.g., Nike).
- An arbitrary trademark is one with a common meaning, but the meaning is unrelated to the goods or services offered for sale under the mark (e.g., Apple).
Assessment of a trademark infringement claim
Upon reviewing a trademark infringement claim, Vimeo’s Trust & Safety team may:
- Determine there is no trademark infringement. In this case, Vimeo will not take any action against the user or the content in question.
- Determine there is trademark infringement. In this case, depending on the egregiousness of the violation, we may ask the user to make the necessary changes to the content to avoid removal from our platform, or directly remove the content in question ourselves. In more serious cases, we may even terminate the user’s account.
- Determine that this is a borderline case. In those instances where Vimeo isn’t legally required to act on your complaint under the law of the U.S., we may pass along your complaint to the user with advice to contact you directly and try to resolve the issue.
Both the user and the trademark owner will be informed of Vimeo’s decision.
It is important to note that before taking any action, we may share information about the trademark infringement claim with the user who uploaded the content in question. This is to give the user the opportunity to address any potential trademark issues directly. The specific information we may share with the user includes:
- Trademark rights owner’s name
- Email address used to submit the trademark claim
- Relevant information included by the trademark rights owner in the claim
Appealing a trademark infringement decision
For Vimeo users: If your content was taken down as a result of a successful claim by a trademark rights owner, you may take any of the following actions:
- Contact the trademark rights owner directly; or
- Appeal our decision to take down your content using our appeals form.
- Note that Vimeo will not mediate disputes between trademark rights owners and Vimeo users. If you submit an appeal, the actions of our Trust & Safety team will be limited to taking a second look at the issue, taking into consideration any additional information you may provide, and either confirming their initial decision or reversing it and reinstating your content.