Couchsurfing Trademark Policy

You’ve probably arrived on this page because you’re interested in using the logo or other trademarks of Couchsurfing. That’s great! One of the most unique things about Couchsurfing is how many cool projects, events and art pieces are created by our members. We’re thrilled that you want to share Couchsurfing with the world, and we want to make it easy for you to do so.

The trademarks of Couchsurfing International, Inc. (also referred to in this Trademark Policy as “Couchsurfing”, “us” or “we”) include ‘Couchsurfing’ and ‘Couchsurfer,’ the Couchsurfing logo and a few other terms, phrases and logos that you might see around the Couchsurfing websites, mobile apps, etc. Collectively, these are called the “Marks. The rights to these Marks belong to Couchsurfing, and we are required by law to monitor their use.

Monitoring our Marks allows us to protect our name and logo and prevent confusion for our members. For example, if someone started a tour company called “Couchsurfing Tours, our members might accidentally assume they were affiliated with us. We want to ensure this doesn’t happen and enable us to ask them to change their name. If many people use the Couchsurfing Marks without adhering to our guidelines, even for worthwhile projects, the ability of the Couchsurfing Marks to function properly weakens over time. When that happens, it affects your ability to know with confidence what offerings are truly and genuinely associated with Couchsurfing and our community.

Couchsurfing allows for our Marks to be used in quite a few ways, as we outline below. We generally don’t allow the Marks to be used in ways other than what is listed in this Trademark Policy, but if you have a use that you don’t see covered, please feel free to contact us at logos@couchsurfing.com. We love creative ideas and we’ll be happy to take a look and see if your project meets our guidelines.


Common Questions


What are trademarks and copyrights?

Trademarks and copyrights are types of Intellectual Property (IP).

Trademarks are words, phrases, images, logo designs, slogans or other material designed to identify the specific goods or services of its owner. Examples of this are the Couchsurfing logo, slogans such as “Travel is a State of Mind”, “The World is Smaller Than You Think”, “One Couch at a Time” and most importantly the terms Couchsurfing and Couchsurfer themselves.

Copyright refers to the rights that are granted to the authors of artistic or literary works. These may include a picture, painting, story, movie or some other form of original expression. Copyright covers a lot of the content on the Couchsurfing websites, both the things posted by Couchsurfing staff and by other Couchsurfing members.


Why do we care?

Having a trademark allows us to protect our name and logo and prevent confusion for our members. For example, if someone started a tour company called “Couchsurfing Tours”, our members might accidentally assume they were affiliated with us. We want to ensure this doesn’t happen. If many people use the Couchsurfing Marks without adhering to our guidelines, even for worthwhile projects, the ability of the Couchsurfing Marks to function properly weakens over time, as does your ability to know with confidence what offerings are truly and genuinely associated with Couchsurfing and our community.

Reporting infringement

If you’ve spotted an inappropriate use of the Couchsurfing Marks or copyrighted material, please let us know by emailing us at legal@couchsurfing.com.

Uses of our brand and logo


Apparel & materials

We encourage Couchsurfers to use the Couchsurfing logo and other Marks to make their own clothing, banners, flyers, etc. to help spread the word about Couchsurfing. In fact, we’ve created a logo that’s made to customize! Whether you’re making a banner or sign for your events to help other Couchsurfers find you, t-shirts to give away at your Couch Crash or another creative project, we want to help you make your ideas a reality. But there are some requirements you must first follow. Prior to using the Marks, please email us at logos@couchsurfing.com with a copy of your design and a description of your intended use so that we can review it beforehand. (Please note that if we do approve your use, you must also comply with our License Agreement.)

Books, travel guides, movies and documentaries

If you are creating a book, travel guide, movie or documentary, first and foremost the title of your project must make it clear that the project is made by you about Couchsurfing, not by Couchsurfing International, Inc. For example, My Adventure Traveling Across Europe: How Couchsurfing Got Me There would be fine, but Couchsurfing: A Documentary would not. Similarly, the content of your work must not be misleading or directly state or imply that Couchsurfing was involved in the production, sponsored the production or had some other involvement in the project. When you refer to Couchsurfing, just make sure it’s clear that you are a community member, not an official representative of the community.

Academic use

Couchsurfing believes in promoting academic research. If you are a student or academic who would like to use the Couchsurfing Marks in a research paper or academic presentation, we may grant you a limited license to do so. Please ensure that your usage is in compliance with these License Agreement. If you are a researcher who wants to study Couchsurfing, please reach out to research@couchsurfing.com.

Your website

We understand that you want your project to be identifiable as part of the Couchsurfing community (which is great!), but do not use the Couchsurfing Marks in your own website domain name, keywords, social media user names, etc. Feel free to reference Couchsurfing and to talk about the Couchsurfing community in your website content, so long as you do so in a way that does not state or suggest that Couchsurfing is sponsoring, endorsing or affiliated with your website. We also require that you follow some trademark use guidelines as follows:

* Always use as one word Couchsurfing with an initial capital C’ and lowercase s’.

* When you refer to the term Couchsurfing, please make sure it is in reference to our platform or community and not any other activities or services.

* Only use the word “Couchsurfer to refer to users of the official Couchsurfing services (members of our community).

You also can link to Couchsurfing on your website or blog. Just please make sure not to state or suggest that Couchsurfing is sponsoring, endorsing or affiliated with your website unless that is true.

Social media

Many Couchsurfers want to represent their local Couchsurfing communities and connect with travellers and other locals through Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. This is great! Keeping people up to date on what your community is up to is wonderful, and we want to support you. However before you do so, please contact us at communications@couchsurfing.com so we can approve your group and add you to our list of local social media groups. (Please note that if we do approve you, your use of the Couchsurfing Marks must also comply with our License Agreement.)

Other

We generally only allow use of our Marks in the ways described in this Trademark Policy and in accordance with our License Agreement. If your idea doesn’t fit any of the above categories, contact us at logos@Couchsurfing.com to discuss approval of your project.

Copyrighted Material

  • Posted by the Couchsurfing Staff . We work very hard to produce the content that you see on our websites please contact us if you are interested in using our content, as permission must be granted prior to use.
  • Posted by other Members . The content that other Couchsurfers upload to the website may be owned by them please don’t use it without contacting the member directly and asking for permission.


DMCA . Couchsurfing complies with the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA); if you feel that your copyrighted content is being displayed inappropriately on the Couchsurfing website(s), please submit your DMCA request to DMCA@couchsurfing.com. For more information on the DMCA or copyright take-down procedures, please refer to chillingeffects.org.


Regardless of where and how you decide to make use of our Marks, be sure to comply with our License Agreement and our Terms of Use. This will help us ensure that our Marks continue to represent our community.

Have fun and keep on surfing!



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