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Microsoft Trademark and Brand Guidelines

Thank you for helping us protect our trademarks and brand assets

Microsoft is grateful for the trust that people place in our products, services, and experiences. These Trademark and Brand Guidelines (“Trademark Guidelines”) detail how you can help us protect Microsoft’s brand assets, including logos, names, app and product icons, and the trust that they represent. We have created these Trademark Guidelines to help clarify proper usage of our brand assets. Microsoft reserves the right to take action as necessary to protect them and, as a result, protect its customers and the public.

Microsoft’s brand assets—including the Microsoft Trademarks (PDF) (as updated from time to time), logos, icons, designs, trade dress, fonts, names of Microsoft software, products, services, sounds, emojis, and any other brand features and elements, whether registered or unregistered (“Brand Assets”)—are proprietary assets owned exclusively by Microsoft and its group of companies. These Trademark Guidelines, which may be updated from time to time, detail how our Brand Assets can be used under specific circumstances. To help illustrate use cases, Contoso is used as the fictitious partner brand. Many uses, including our logos, app and product icons, and other designs, will require a license first. Unless you have an express license from Microsoft, these Trademark Guidelines will exclusively govern your use of our Brand Assets.

Examples of uses governed by these Trademark Guidelines

  • Don’t miss Contoso’s Memorial Day sale featuring a limited time discount on Microsoft Excel software.
  • The Contoso Game can be played on Xbox gaming consoles.
  • The Contoso App works with Microsoft Teams.

 

Examples of Brand Assets requiring authorization from Microsoft


Dos and don’ts

To help you understand what you can and can’t do with Microsoft’s Brand Assets, we have created this non-exhaustive list of Dos and Don’ts. In general, wordmarks can be used to truthfully convey information about your product or service, as long as customers and the public will not be confused into believing Microsoft is affiliated with or endorses your product or service. However, our logos, app and product icons, illustrations, photographs, videos, and designs can never be used without an express license. Please review these additional tips to better understand how you can more clearly communicate the role that our Brand Assets convey in your communications.

Dos

In general, you may do the following with Microsoft’s wordmarks and names of software, products, or services:

  • Note if your product, service, or solution is interoperable or compatible with a Microsoft product, service, or solution. Communicate if your product, service, or solution goes through the approved certification process.

    • Contoso headphones are compatible with Microsoft Surface.
    • Contoso app is certified for Microsoft Teams.
  • If your product, service, or solution integrates with a Microsoft technology, clearly communicate the relationship. For more information on this integration scenario, visit the guidelines for partner-led marketing under the Resources section below.

    • Contoso software works with Microsoft OneDrive
    • Contoso app is built on Microsoft Azure
    • Contoso is a new device designed for Microsoft Teams Rooms
    • Contoso is integrated with Microsoft 365
  • Truthfully and accurately refer to Microsoft and its products and services.

    • Contoso is a three-dimensional model city created by students using Minecraft gaming software.
    • Used Xbox gaming console for sale!
    • Join us for a seminar about mixed reality in the real estate industry, including the use of the Microsoft HoloLens technology.
  • Use without alteration in text to refer to Microsoft and its products and services.

    • Follow these steps to format mail merge letters using Microsoft Word software.
    • CRM is easy with Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications.
    • Microsoft Azure provides enterprise-level cloud computing solutions.
  • Note when a product or service has met Microsoft’s accessibility requirements.

    • The Contoso case has met Microsoft’s accessibility requirements for Microsoft Surface products.
  • Use in the title of news articles, when truthful and not misleading.

    • Microsoft releases new Xbox console
    • Microsoft Azure is adding new features on July 1st
    • Microsoft partners with Contoso to add new AI capabilities
  • Use less prominently than your own brand or company name unless you have a strategic partnership agreement.  Visit the Microsoft partner website for more information on partner branding.

    • Contoso Inc.
      Providing Microsoft software installation and customization services since 1999.
    • Contoso software
      Our software is compatible with a number of email applications, including Microsoft Outlook.
  • Use as adjectives before nouns.

    • Xbox gaming consoles
    • Excel spreadsheets
    • Word documents
    • HoloLens virtual reality equipment
    • OneDrive cloud storage
  • Use our Brand Assets for publication, seminars, or conferences in compliance with Microsoft’s Publications, seminars, and conferences guidelines.

  • Include a trademark footnote to give notice that you are using Microsoft’s trademarks, e.g., “Microsoft, (list additional trademarks in alphabetical order) are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.”

Don’ts

Without a written license or express permission under one of Microsoft's other published guidelines (e.g., Specific Brand and Product Guidelines below), don’t do the following:

  • Don’t use Microsoft’s Brand Assets in the name of your business, product, service, app, domain name, social media account, other offering, or business indicator.

    • Contoso OneDrive software.
    • Contoso Surface headphones.
    • www.azurevirtualmachine.com
    • @xboxsuperfans
  • Don’t use Microsoft’s logos, icons, or designs, in any manner.

  • Don’t imply an affiliation, endorsement, sponsorship, or approval with or by Microsoft.

    • Minecraft Builder LLC builds three-dimensional models.
    • Join us for Contoso’s Xbox gaming event
    • Contoso offers premium Microsoft 365 installation & support services
    • Microsoft Teams has certified the Contoso CP1 headset.
  • Don’t alter, animate, distort, or misappropriate Microsoft’s Brand Assets, for example, by combining Microsoft’s Brand Assets with other terms, misspellings, or incorporating them into a tagline or slogan, etc.

    • Microsoft Wordsmithing is Easy!
    • Use Microsoft Powerful Platform
    • Rest Azured that your data is safe with Microsoft
    • Contoso…Your one stop shop for all things Xbox.
    • ContosoDynamics
    • Contoso Excels at Spreadsheet Development!
    • Binging you quality search results since 2005
  • Don’t use Microsoft’s Brand Assets as nouns or verbs.

    • Xbox your way to rewards
    • You can Excel with Microsoft
    • We’re selling new Microsoft Surfaces
  • Don’t use Microsoft’s Brand Assets in entertainment titles (including book, films, and magazines).

    • PowerPointalism
    • Beauty and the Bing
    • Azure Daily
  • Don’t use Microsoft’s Brand Assets more prominently than your own brand(s) or company name.

    • MICROSOFT SOFTWARE
      Contoso installs Microsoft software – call us today!
  • Don’t use Microsoft’s Brand Assets in the name of a user group, fan group, tech communities, or other organization name, irrespective of whether the group or organization is a non-profit.

    • Dynamics User Group
    • Microsoft 365 Technology Group
    • Xbox Game Club
  • Don’t use Microsoft’s Brand Assets on any tangible goods or packaging, including any promotional, marketing, swag, or other items.

    • T-shirt with Microsoft logo
    • Xbox branded headphones
    • Surface mouse pad
    • Microsoft Teams branded headset
  • Don’t file any application or recordation to register terms or logos identical or similar to Microsoft’s Brand Assets as a trademark, service mark, trade name, doing business as designation, or any other proprietary right.


App guidelines

Without a license arrangement with Microsoft, everything about your app (including developer name, app name, logo, description, screenshots, and other app collateral) must be unique to you and free of Microsoft’s Brand Assets. The only exception is that you may truthfully state whether your app is compatible or interoperable with a Microsoft product or service within the text description about your app. If your app is integrated with a Microsoft technology, follow the guidelines for partner-led marketing under the Resources section below.

Examples of approved app details

  • Developer: Contoso Developer, Inc.
  • App name: Contoso App
  • Image/screenshots: <No Microsoft Content Featured>
  • Description: Contoso App allows you to access Microsoft OneDrive content and share it with your CRM contacts at the push of a button.

Examples of unapproved app details

  • Developer: Azure Development Co.
  • App name: Azure To Go
  • Image/screenshots: <Microsoft Logo, Azure App Icon Featured>
  • Description: Azure To Go brings the Azure cloud services to your mobile phone.

You may not use Microsoft’s Brand Assets in a manner that implies Microsoft published, developed, endorsed, is affiliated with, or is otherwise connected with your app. Furthermore, Microsoft’s logos, designs, and icons can never be used as your app icon and can only be used in your app advertisements with a license agreement in place.

 


Specific Brand and Product Guidelines

Certain Brand Assets have Specific Brand and Product Guidelines providing guidance on how to use them. Several of these Specific Brand and Product Guidelines are published below and others may be provided to you by your relevant Microsoft contact in the context of your relationship with Microsoft. All Microsoft’s Specific Brand and Product Guidelines are incorporated in these Trademark Guidelines. If you are a partner integrating your product, service, or solution with a Microsoft technology including but not limited to Microsoft 365, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Dynamics 365, visit the guidelines for partner-led marketing for more detailed information.


Copyrighted content

Visit Use of Microsoft copyrighted content to learn how to use photography, box shots, and screenshots.

 


Legal notice

Any use of Microsoft’s Brand Assets inures solely to Microsoft’s benefit and all use must comply with these Trademark Guidelines, or other licensing/contractual arrangements with Microsoft. Third parties, including licensees, may never claim ownership rights in Microsoft’s Brand Assets, or brands that are confusingly similar to Microsoft’s Brand Assets, in any manner, including without limitation as a trademark, service mark, company name or designation, domain name, social media profile/handle, or in any other manner.

Microsoft expressly reserves the right in its sole discretion to terminate, revoke, modify, or otherwise change permission to use its Brand Assets at any time and expressly reserves the right to object to any use or misuse of its Brand Assets in any jurisdiction worldwide.


Resources

 

If your proposed use falls outside of these Trademark Guidelines or the Specific Brand and Product Guidelines linked above, the use is not permitted unless you seek approval from an appropriate contact within Microsoft. If you have a question, please contact your legal counsel, Microsoft business contact, or trademarks@microsoft.com.

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