Strategy and approach to the SharePoint trademark

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Recently there have been concerns about the proper use, and associated use rights, of the ‘SharePoint’ name in websites, social media properties, blogs, etc – outside of how Microsoft and the SharePoint team use the brand name. Microsoft has established trademark guidelines and policies that refer to proper use of Microsoft trademarks in different scenarios. Though we want to be clear the SharePoint team is not actively taking special, targeted efforts to enforce them. From time to time, our Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA) department makes routine sweeps to ensure compliance with our published trademark regulations. In situations where there are compliance concerns, both the SharePoint Team and LCA are eager to work with you and/or other asset owners to arrive at a positive resolution. We strive to support our communities and stakeholders, and firmly believe technology evangelists and community members contribute to the value of the SharePoint product, the SharePoint brand and the overall success of Microsoft.

We look forward to your input here in comments, and invite you to share your passion and insights with us in the community lounge at the SharePoint Conference 2014 (SPC14) in Las Vegas, NV – March 3-6.


  1. Roger Brown

    How about some guidance on what is the proper use of the name "SharePoint?" Maybe some examples of what would constitute a violation? You know, something helpful in alleviating said concerns?

  2. It was necessary that you came out with a statement on this, but it would have been very helpful if the statement had been clearer.

    Reading between the lines it seems to be saying that Legal and Corporate Affairs has been too aggressive in its "routine" steps to ensure compliance and that this – in connection with SharePoint – has come as a surprise to the SharePoint team ("is not actively taking special efforts to enforce" trademarks ("them")). This has led to a situation where it has been necessary for the SharePoint team to step in "to arrive at a positive conclusion" (= community sites are allowed to use the word "SharePoint" even if LCA’s routine sweeps thinks they shouldn’t).

    But then all the above is reading between the lines. The statement produced by you can be interpreted in so many ways. Perhaps someone from the team blogging "privately" could make a clearer statement of intent?

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