SXSW Marks: General Guidelines

Unless stated otherwise in these General Guidelines, all use of the SXSW Marks (defined below), requires advance written approval from SXSW. Request approval here: http://www.jotform.us/form/51726743792161.

Since 1987, the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Music & Media Conference and Festival has worked to provide premiere conference, festival, and programming related goods and services that have achieved international recognition for their excellence. Simultaneously, the SXSW Marks have attained status as famous trademarks.

Accordingly, these General Guidelines are intended to help you understand how to use the SXSW Marks in a manner that will maintain SXSW's protection of the SXSW Marks and simultaneously allow you to promote your involvement with SXSW. Any examples provided herein are non-exhaustive.

Please keep in mind that unauthorized use of the SXSW Marks constitutes trademark and/or copyright infringement, except in limited circumstances.

The General Guidelines address the following topics:

(1) The SXSW Marks

(2) When Can the SXSW Marks be Used Without a License?

(3) What Uses of the SXSW Marks are Prohibited?

(4) What Uses of the SXSW Marks Require a License?

(5) How Do I Request a Trademark License for the SXSW Marks?

(6) Once Licensed, How Should the SXSW Marks be Displayed?

(7) If I Can’t Use the SXSW Marks, What Can I Use?

(8) How Can I use the SXSW Marks as a Member of the Press?

(9) List of SXSW Marks

THE SXSW MARKS

The "SXSW Marks" include, but are not limited to, trademarks, service marks, names, and logos owned by SXSW, as well as any word, slogan, image, or other designation that identifies the source or origin of any of SXSW’s goods and/or services. SXSW maintains federal, state, and/or common law trademark protection in and to the SXSW Marks in both the United States and many international jurisdictions. The list of SXSW Marks below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the trademarks owned by SXSW.

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WHEN CAN THE SXSW MARKS BE USED WITHOUT A LICENSE?

Please contact us at ip@sxsw.com to confirm whether your proposed use requires a license.

EDITORIAL CONTENT

We encourage you to discuss SXSW in editorial content, and we enjoy hearing about your official participation and experiences at our SXSW events. Editorial content includes reviews, news reporting, and social commentary that expresses opinions about SXSW or provides objective reporting about SXSW, and the SXSW events. Such editorial content is probably acceptable without a license, but be aware that editorial content that suggests SXSW approves of the content requires a license and SXSW reserves the right to request your removal of such content.

     Correct: Title of article, "[Your Company's] Review of the Performances at SXSW"
     Incorrect: Title of article, "SXSW's List of Top Performances"

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WHAT USES OF THE SXSW MARKS ARE PROHIBITED?

(1) UNAPPROVED EVENTS.

As SXSW has grown, so too have other events taking place in Austin, Texas, during the month of March. To eliminate confusion, it is critical that only SXSW approved events use the SXSW Marks. Accordingly, use the SXSW Marks, or any confusingly similar variations thereof, in association with the promotion or operation of an event that has not been approved or sanctioned by SXSW is strictly prohibited. We suggest you use the moniker "ATX Spring Festival" if your event is not approved or sanctioned by SXSW.

     Examples of unapproved events:

  • Pay to play events (requiring artists to pay to perform)
  • Events that do not coordinate with SXSW for safety, production, planning, and/or any other purposes

(2) DISPARAGING USES OR VIOLATING LAWS.

Use the SXSW Marks in a disparaging manner or in a way that violates any law or regulation is strictly prohibited.

(3) WRONGFUL ASSERTIONS OF OWNERSHIP.

Any display of the SXSW Marks that suggests or implies that you own or control the SXSW Marks is strictly prohibited.

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WHAT USES OF THE SXSW MARKS REQUIRE A LICENSE?

The non-exhaustive list below identifies ways in which you may wish to use the SXSW Marks. Each of these uses requires a license, which may be requested here: http://www.jotform.us/form/51726743792161. SXSW reserves the right to approve or deny any license request in SXSW’s sole discretion.

(1) EDITORIAL CONTENT THAT SUGGESTS SXSW APPROVES OF THE CONTENT.

It is never acceptable to use the SXSW Marks in editorial content (or any other type of content) in a manner that misleadingly suggests that SXSW has approved or endorsed the content, or the source of the content, without SXSW’s prior written approval.

     Correct: Title of article, "A Review of the Performances at SXSW"
     Incorrect: Title of article, "SXSW's List of Top Performances"

(2) COMMERCIAL USE.

"Commercial use" of the SXSW Marks without advance written approval from SXSW is strictly prohibited. A commercial use of the SXSW Marks is any use in association with the promotion of the products or services of a person or entity other than SXSW.

     Examples of commercial use:

  • Use of the SXSW Marks in company blog posts promoting the products and/or services of the company
  • Use of the SXSW Marks on physical fliers, and/or signage promoting the products and services of the company.

(3) MERCHANDISE.

You may not use the SXSW Marks on any apparel, posters, toys, or other merchandise without a written license agreement from SXSW. If you would like to request permission to use the SXSW Marks on merchandise, please contact one of our marketing contacts.

(4) CONTESTS & GIVEAWAYS.

You many not use the SXSW Marks in connection with any raffles, giveaways, auctions, contests, sweepstakes, competitions, or similar activities without written permission from SXSW.

     Examples of contests & giveaways:

  • Calling for entrants to "enter to win two (2) badges and airfare to SXSW" through social media
  • Including SXSW badges in a live auction

(5) SOCIAL MEDIA & THE INTERNET.

Use of the SXSW Marks on your social media websites or elsewhere on the Internet is typically a commercial use. As mentioned above, commercial use requires a license. The SXSW Marks shall not be used in any web URLs without SXSW's prior written approval. Additionally, any commercial use of the SXSW Marks in a hashtag (#) requires a license.

Note that use of "SX" and/or "South By" in connection with your social media activities are also governed by this section.

     Examples of commercial use in social media & on the Internet:

  • #[Company Name]SX
  • #[Company Name]SXSW
  • http://www.[CompanyName]SXSW.com

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HOW DO I REQUEST A TRADEMARK LICENSE FROM SXSW?

To request a trademark license from SXSW, please fill out this form: http://www.jotform.us/form/51726743792161. SXSW reserves the right to approve or deny any license request in SXSW's sole discretion.

Upon receipt of a trademark license from SXSW, carefully review the terms, and ensure that any planned uses of the SXSW Marks are within the scope of the specific activities and uses authorized under the license.

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HOW SHOULD THE LICENSED SXSW MARKS BE DISPLAYED?

(1) REQUEST APPROVAL.

All proposed displays of the SXSW Marks must be submitted to SXSW for prior approval. Such approval may be done via email.

(2) INCLUDE TRADEMARK NOTICE.

     (a) SXSW requires consistent use the SXSW Marks and the trademark symbol ("™") or, if appropriate, the registration symbol ("®") alongside the licensed SXSW Marks the first time the SXSW Marks appear in the text of an approved advertisement, brochure, or other materials. Please refer to the non-exhaustive list of SXSW Marks below to determine whether it is appropriate to use the trademark symbol or the registration symbol in association with particular SXSW Marks.

     (b) Include an attribution of SXSW’s ownership of the SXSW Marks in the credit section of your approved document, advertisement, website, etc., as follows:

"[INSERT LICENSED SXSW MARKS] is a trademark of SXSW, LLC, used under license."

(3) COMPLY WITH THE LOGO GUIDELINES.

Upon licensing the SXSW Marks, remember to request a high-resolution version of the art comprising the SXSW Marks ("Logo") and the corresponding guidelines ("Logo Guidelines"). Any licensee that is issued a trademark license for a Logo will be required to follow the Logo Guidelines.

(4) NO MODIFICATION OF THE SXSW MARKS.

The SXSW Marks must be displayed exactly as written (in the case of a word mark) or depicted (in the case of a Logo). Any desired modifications or alterations of any SXSW Marks, including combining any part of one of the SXSW Marks with your company's name, trademarks, or other terms, for hashtags, websites, advertisements, or any other uses, must be explicitly licensed by SXSW prior to any use, which approval may be withheld by SXSW in SXSW's sole discretion. If SXSW chooses to grant you permission to use any such modified/variation mark, it will be owned by SXSW and may be used by you only pursuant to a written license agreement from SXSW.

Note that use of "SX" and/or "South By" in connection with your social media activities are also governed by this section.

     Examples of modifications/variations:

  • #[Company Name]SXSW
  • http://www.SouthBy[CompanyName].com
  • SX[Company Name] in physical fliers/signage

(5) NO PARTNERSHIP.

The SXSW Marks shall not be displayed in a manner that implies partnership, sponsorship, or endorsement of yourself or a third party by SXSW (or any products or services offered by yourself or a third party) without SXSW’s advance written approval.

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IF I CAN’T USE THE SXSW MARKS WHAT CAN I USE?

If you don’t qualify for a trademark license we recommend the following:

(1) USE "ATX SPRING FESTIVAL" INSTEAD OF THE SXSW MARKS.

The moniker "ATX Spring Festival" is an approved alternative to the SXSW Marks. Please use ATX Spring Festival to avoid infringing the SXSW Marks.

     Correct: "Attend my ATX Spring Festival Event"
     "Attend my Event at the ATX Spring Festival"

     Incorrect: "Attend my Unofficial SXSW Event"
     "Attend my Unofficial Event at SXSW"

(2) WEBTILES

If your proposed activity does not qualify for a license, but you are working with SXSW in some capacity, we may allow you to use one of the SXSW Webtiles in lieu of the SXSW Marks. Please use the Webtiles as follows:

  • For SXSW Exhibitors: to inform people about your presence at a SXSW trade show.
  • For PanelPicker submissions: to inform people about your topic.
  • For SXSW speakers, performing artists, music showcase presenters, and other official SXSW participants: to promote your involvement in SXSW.

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HOW CAN I USE THE SXSW MARKS AS PRESS?

See the Press Guidelines, available here: http://www.sxsw.com/press.

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LIST OF SXSW MARKS

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the SXSW Marks. The absence of a trademark, name, logo, slogan, image, or other designation from this list does not constitute a waiver of SXSW's intellectual property and/or trademark rights in such trademark, name, logo, slogan, image, or other designation.

South by Southwest®
SXSW®
South By®
SXSW Eco®
SXSWedu®
SXSW V2V®
Daily Chord®
Grulke Prize®
LAUNCHedu®
PanelPicker®
Rightround®
ScreenBurn®
Southbites™
Startup Village®
Style By®
Style X®
SXsports®
SXSW Accelerator®
SXSWeek®
SXSWfm®
SXSW On™
SXSWorld®

If you have any questions about these General Guidelines or use of the SXSW Marks, please contact us at ip@sxsw.com or at the following address: SXSW, LLC, Attn: Trademarks, P.O. Box 685289, Austin, TX 78768. SXSW reserves the right to modify or change the terms of these guidelines at any time at its sole discretion.

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