Unless stated otherwise in these Trademark General Guidelines, all use of the SXSW Marks (defined below), requires advance written approval from SXSW. Request approval here, and provide as many details as possible so that we can understand the context for your request.
General InformationBackground and the SXSW Marks
Since 1987, the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals has provided a 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.
The “SXSW Marks” include, but are not limited to, trademarks, service marks, names, designs 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. The SXSW Marks include word marks, or any variations thereof, that contain only text (e.g., SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST or SXSW)(collectively, the “SXSW Word Mark(s)”) or designs, such as the SXSW logo, or any variation thereof (the “SXSW Logo(s)”):
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. Accordingly, these Trademark General Guidelines are intended to help you understand how to use the SXSW Marks in a manner that maintains SXSW’s protection of the SXSW Marks and simultaneously allows you to promote your involvement with SXSW. Any examples provided herein are non-exhaustive and you agreement with SXSW (if you have one) controls your ability to use the SXSW Marks.
Please be aware that use of terms that are variations of or derived from the SXSW Marks (e.g., Soul By Soul West, SXSA, the South By Party, South by [Participant]) (collectively, the “Variation Marks”) are strictly prohibited.
Keep in mind that unauthorized use of the SXSW Marks or Variation Marks likely constitutes trademark and/or copyright infringement.
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®
North by Northwest®
South by Southeast™
(1) UNAPPROVED EVENTS
SXSW is not the only event 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, using the SXSW Marks, or any confusingly similar variations thereof, in association with the promotion or operation of an event not 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:
(2) DISPARAGING USES OR VIOLATING LAWS
Use of the SXSW Marks in a disparaging manner or in a way that violates any law or regulation is strictly prohibited.
(3) VARIATION MARKS
Use of terms that are variations of or derived from the SXSW Marks (e.g., Soul By Soul West, SXSA, the South By Party, South by [Participant]) (collectively, the “Variation Marks”) are strictly prohibited.
(4) 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.
(5) UNAUTHORIZED USE OF THE SXSW MARKS
Any use not explicitly authorized by SXSW is prohibited.
The non-exhaustive list below identifies ways you might wish to use the SXSW Marks. Each of these uses requires a license, which may be requested here. SXSW reserves the right to approve or deny any license request.
(1) EDITORIAL CONTENT THAT SUGGESTS SXSW APPROVES OF THE CONTENT
While we do want you to write about SXSW, if your content suggests that SXSW has approved or endorsed your content or the source of your content you need to request a trademark license from SXSW prior to distributing the content.
Doesn’t require a license:
Requires a license:
(2) COMMERCIAL USE
“Commercial use” of the SXSW Marks without advance written approval from SXSW is strictly prohibited without a license. A commercial use of the SXSW Marks is any non-editorial use in association with the promotion of the products or services of a person or entity other than SXSW.
Examples of unauthorized commercial use:
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 may 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 unauthorized contests & giveaways:
(5) SOCIAL MEDIA & THE INTERNET
Use of the SXSW Marks on your social media websites or elsewhere on the internet 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.
Please keep in mind that the SXSW Marks include SX, SOUTH BY, and any variations thereof, and are also governed by this section.
Examples of SXSW Marks use on social media & on the Internet that requires a license:
HOW DO I REQUEST A TRADEMARK LICENSE FROM SXSW?
To request a trademark license from SXSW, please fill out this form. 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 your planned uses of the SXSW Marks are within the scope of the authorized uses under the license.
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 of the SXSW Marks and the trademark symbol (“™”) or, if appropriate, the registration symbol (“®”) alongside the licensed SXSW Marks the first or most prominent 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 to determine whether it is appropriate to use the trademark symbol or the registration symbol in association with particular SXSW Marks.
(b) Except on social media where character limits exist, include an attribution of SXSW’s ownership of the SXSW Marks in the credit section of your approved document, posting, 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 Logo and the corresponding guidelines (“Logo Guidelines”). Any licensee that is issued a trademark license for a SXSW 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 SXSW Word Mark) or depicted (in the case of a SXSW Logo). Any desired modifications or alterations of any SXSW Marks, including combining any part of one of the SXSW Marks with your participant’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.
Please keep in mind that use of SX, South By, and any variations thereof are also governed by this section.
Examples of unauthorized modifications/variations:
(5) NO PARTNERSHIP
The SXSW Marks shall not be displayed in a manner that implies partnership, sponsorship, or endorsement of you or a third party by SXSW (or any products or services offered by yourself or a third party) without SXSW’s advance written approval.
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 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 and commercial content requires a license, and SXSW reserves the right to request your removal of such content.
Editorial (no license required):
If you wish to use the SXSW Logos in editorial content, please submit a SXSW trademark request, and provide as many details as possible so that we can understand the context for your request. Please also be sure to select “Press Outlet” on the first page.
Remember, use of Variation Marks (e.g., Soul By Soul West, SXSA, the South By Party, South by [Participant]) is strictly prohibited.
If you don’t qualify for a trademark license we recommend the following:
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.
Trademark Usage Guidelines
Although your official agreement (if you have one) with SXSW controls how you are allowed to use the SXSW Marks, the descriptions below provide an overview of how you might use the SXSW Marks based on your relationship with SXSW:I am an official SXSW 2018 Artist, Speaker, PanelPicker Applicant, Filmmaker, Venue or Showcase Presenter (collectively, the “Participants”)...
…and wish to use the SXSW Marks to promote my participation in SXSW.
…and wish to use the SXSW Marks to promote my participation in SXSW.
… and want to use the SXSW Marks to promote my participation in SXSW.
…and want to use the SXSW Marks to share my plans or post about things I see at SXSW.
You are permitted (and encouraged) to use the SXSW Word Marks and the hashtag #SXSW to share your SXSW experience on social media for non-commercial purposes.
…and want to use the SXSW Marks to promote myself.
…and want to use the SXSW Marks in a presentation or educational materials.
…and want to use the SXSW Marks to promote our fundraising efforts.
…and I want to use the SXSW Marks in my designs.
If you have any questions about these Trademark General Guidelines or use of the SXSW Marks, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.