Brand Guidelines

Brand Guidelines

These Guidelines set out how third parties may use or otherwise refer to trade marks, service marks, trade names, signs, logos, icons, slogans, banners, screen shots of the Skype user interface, trade dress, links, sounds and other brand features belonging to Skype (the “Skype Brand Elements”).

At Skype, our reputation and brand are extremely important to us. We want our customers to have a safe and secure experience with our communications platform products and we need to ensure that we protect our reputation and brand accordingly. The Skype Brand Elements are valuable assets to us and are protected by applicable trade mark, copyright and other intellectual property laws.

On this page:

  1. The general rule
  2. Permissions from Skype
  3. (a) If you already have a written agreement with Skype

    (b) If you do not have a written agreement with Skype

  4. Limited exceptions to the general rule
  5. (a) Use of Skype Word Marks

    (b) Your Skype contact details

    (c) Screenshots

    (d) Linking

    (e) School reports and projects

    (f) Publications, seminars and conferences

    (g) Use in broadcasts

    (h) Use by developers

    (i) Use by hardware partners

    (j) Use by Affiliates

  6. How to use the Skype Brand Elements properly
  7. Uses expressly prohibited by Skype
  8. Selected Skype trade marks list
  9. General

1. The general rule

We do not allow third parties to use the Skype Brand Elements unless they have either received prior written permission from us or unless the proposed use falls within extremely limited exceptions: see section 3 “Limited exceptions to the general rule” below.

You must ensure that you adhere to these Guidelines or any other guidelines issued by us from time to time, for example, in relation to the size, colour scheme, typeface and prominence of the Skype Brand Elements. We may modify any of the Skype Brand Elements at any time, and accordingly you should check this webpage regularly for updates to these Guidelines to ensure that your use conforms to our current guidelines.

2. Permissions from Skype

(a) If you already have a written agreement with Skype

If you already have a written agreement with Skype which allows you to use some of the Skype Brand Elements, that agreement will govern your rights to use those Skype Brand Elements, in addition to these Guidelines. In the event of conflict between your agreement and these Guidelines, the terms of your agreement will prevail.

(b) If you do not have a written agreement with Skype

If you do not already have a written agreement with Skype which governs your proposed use of the Skype Brand Elements you must request prior written permission from Skype for your proposed use of the relevant Skype Brand Elements, as explained below, unless your use falls within the exceptions listed in section 4 below.

To request permission, for example, to use screen shots in academic text books or in films, you will need to send an email with your request to permissions@skype.net. Your request should provide details of which Skype Brand Elements you wish to use, as well as a detailed proposal of how you will be using those elements. You cannot use the Skype Brand Elements until we have expressly granted you permission. Any change to your initial proposal requires that you make an additional request for that use.

If you receive permission from Skype to use any Skype Brand Elements, these Guidelines govern that use, in addition to any specific requirements set out in the permissions. Skype reserves the right to withdraw its permission to use the Skype Brand Elements at any time, whereupon you agree that you will immediately cease any and all use of the relevant Skype Brand Elements.

Any permission we may give you is subject to Skype retaining all right, title and interest in and to the Skype Brand Elements. In addition, all goodwill arising out of any use of the Skype Brand Elements by you will be for the sole benefit of Skype. Such permission is hereby conditioned on your agreement that you will not at any time now or in the future challenge or assist others to challenge the validity of the Skype Brand Elements.

3. Limited exceptions to the general rule

If you do not have our express written agreement/permission to use the Skype Brand Elements, you may still use certain restricted Skype Brand Elements in specific limited circumstances, but ONLY as set out below in this section 3 and section 4 below. You should not use any Skype Brand Elements in any way that expresses or implies Skype affiliation, association, sponsorship, endorsement, certification, or approval.

(a) Use of Skype Word Marks to refer factually to our company or our products

You may use certain of our Word Marks (see selected list of Word Marks at the end of this document) in order to identify the Skype group of companies or its products, but you may not use our icons, logos, taglines or any other features of the Skype Brand Elements.

"I use the Skype software."

"I use the software."

"Skype provides Internet communications products."



If you have any questions or are uncertain about how to use our Word Marks, please contact permissions@skype.net.

(b) Your Skype contact details

You may use the Skype “S” logo on your business cards and/or on your website next to your Skype name, in the same way that you might use the image of a letter for your email address. As such, it should be small (and no bigger than other symbols used for other contact methods), placed appropriately with your other contact methods and non-prominent e.g.:

[your Skype name]

(c) Screenshots

You may not use screen shots of Skype product boot-up screens, opening screens, "splash screens," or screens from beta release products or other products that have not been commercially released. You may use other screen shots in advertising, in documentation (including educational brochures), in tutorial books, in videotapes, or on websites, provided that, in addition to the requirements above, you:

(i) contact permissions@skype.net with details of your request and the image you wish to use and do not use without their approval

(ii) do not alter the screen shot except to resize it

(iii) do not use portions of screen shots

(iv) do not include screen shots in your product user interface

(v) do not use screen shots that contain third-party content

(vi) do not use screen shots that contain an image of an identifiable individual

(d) Linking

You may link to the Skype.com website from another website owned by you, provided you do so in a way that is fair and legal and does not damage our reputation or take advantage of it. You must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement by Skype where none exists. You may not frame the site on any other site.

(e) School reports and projects

Provided that you comply with these Guidelines, you may: use images or content from Skype products in school and college reports; and critique or comment on the Skype products.

(f) Publications, Seminars, and Conferences

You may refer to Skype on the cover of magazines and periodicals, and in the topic outlines in seminars and conferences, provided you comply with these Guidelines and the following specifications:

(i) The publication, seminar, or conference should relate to the specific Skype product or technology referenced.

(ii) Your name and logo should appear more prominently than the Skype word mark on all printed materials related to the magazine, periodical, seminar, or conference.

(iii) You must include the following notice in legible print:

“[List the Skype Brand Elements being used] [is/are] [a] trade mark[s] of Skype and [name of publication] is not affiliated, sponsored, authorised or otherwise associated by/with the Skype group of companies.”

(iv) Do not use Skype Word Mark in the title of any magazine, periodical, seminar, or conference.

(v) Do not use any Skype logos on or in the publication, or on any materials related to the publication, seminar, or conference. Special circumstances may merit a license from Skype.

(g) Use in broadcasts

Broadcasters and studios can incorporate live face-to-face video calls into TV and film. Skype can also be used for free Skype-to-Skype calls during radio programming. Skype can be used for live on-air feeds from remote locations, for interviewing viewers in their homes, for engaging experts from around the world, and even for connecting with correspondents in the field.

If you are using Skype in a broadcast, you must use certain Skype Brand Elements to indicate this use, but such use is only in accordance with the Broadcast Terms of Service and the Branding Guidelines for Broadcast and Film and these Guidelines.

(h) Use by developers

(i) Desktop API: If you want to use the Skype desktop API for any purpose (including without limitation, in connection with an application or software program or for the purpose of interfacing with hardware), you must first accept the terms at http://dev.skype.com/accessories/terms.
Subject to those terms, you are then permitted to refer to your product’s compatibility with Skype, but only in accordance with the Skype public API Terms of Use (see http://dev.skype.com/accessories/terms, which may be amended from time to time) and these Guidelines. You must not call your application Skype, anything similar to Skype or use the Skype logo. You must regularly monitor these websites to ensure that your use conforms to any guidelines or terms.

(ii) SkypeKit program, “plugged into Skype™”: If you are accepted into the SkypeKit program and your software product meets our testing criteria, you will be entitled to use the term “plugged into Skype™” to describe your product’s compatibility with Skype. You may apply to become part of the SkypeKit program by going to the Skype Developer website at http://dev.skype.com and requesting an invitation. You will also be permitted to use the “plugged into Skype” logo (as shown on the Skype Developer website at http://dev.skype.com/skypekit) on your product, packaging, website and promotional material. Such use must be in accordance with the various Marketing Guidelines available on the SkypeKit pages. You must not call your application Skype, anything similar to Skype or use the Skype logo.

(iii) Using URIs to build Skype actions: You may use the sample URIs available at http://dev.skype.com/skype-uri or create your own solely in order to enable people to launch a Skype application or a Skype action. If you use a URI for such a purpose you are required to use the Skype Brand Elements available at http://dev.skype.com/skype-uri/branding to identify the action and such use will be governed by these Trade Mark Guidelines and any other guidelines which we may publish (and which may be amended from time to time).

(i) Use by hardware partners

Hardware partners may use certain Skype Brand Elements depending on whether or not they have been through and passed Skype’s certification process:

(i) SkypeKit program, “plugged into Skype™”: Hardware partners may apply to become part of the SkypeKit program by going to the Skype Developer website at http://dev.skype.com and requesting an invitation. If you are accepted and your product meets our required testing criteria, you will be entitled to use the term “plugged into Skype™” to describe your product’s compatibility with Skype provided it incorporates a software component built with SkypeKit . You will also be permitted to use the plugged into Skype logo (as shown on the Skype Developer website at http://dev.skype.com/skypekit) on your products, packaging, website and promotional material. All such use must be in accordance with the various Marketing Guidelines on the SkypeKit pages. You must not call your product Skype, anything similar to Skype or use the Skype logo.

(ii) Accessories program: Certain hardware partners will have entered into agreements with Skype which permit use of some of the Skype Brand Elements. Those agreements will govern their rights to use those Skype Brand Elements.

(j) Use by Affiliates

If you are a participant of the Skype Affiliate Programme, you are entitled to use certain Skype banners and Skype Links (as that term is defined in the Skype Affiliate Agreement), but such use is only permitted in accordance with the terms of the Skype Affiliate Agreement and these Guidelines

4. How to use the Skype Brand Elements properly

(a) General rules applicable to anyone who uses any of the Skype Brand Elements

  • Ensure that you spell the Skype Brand Elements correctly – see the Skype Trade Mark list at the end of this document for correct spellings.
  • Make sure that you distinguish the Skype Brand Elements from the surrounding text or background so that they stand out.


  • For Word Marks do one or more of the following:-
  1. Capitalise the first letter of the mark, Skype™;
  2. Put the whole mark in capital letters or in italics, skype™, SKYPE™; or
  3. Put the whole mark in quotation marks, “skype™”.
  • Use Word Marks only as adjectives, for example, use the Word Mark followed by the descriptive generic term, e.g., Skype™ software. You may not use the Skype Word Marks as verbs.
  • Use the relevant trade mark symbol. You should use the symbol ™ to give notice that we assert trade mark rights in the Skype Brand Elements.
  • Make sure that any references to Skype are truthful, fair and not misleading or in any way objectionable, as determined by Skype.
  • Do not display any of the Skype Brand Elements as the most prominent element on your web site or elsewhere.
  • Follow these Guidelines.

(b) If you have our express agreement/permission to use any of the Skype Brand Elements

  • If you make reference to any Skype Brand Elements, you must include the following notice in legible print when using the Skype Brand Elements in published materials

“[List the Skype Brand Elements being used] [is/are] are [a] trade mark[s] of Skype [and are used with the permission of Skype Limited].”

(c) If you do not have our express agreement/permission to use any of the Skype Brand Elements but fall within one of the limited exceptions set out in Section 4

  • If you make reference to any Skype Brand Elements, you must include the following notice in legible print when using the Skype Brand Elements in published materials:

“[List the Skype Brand Elements being used] [is/are] [a] trade mark[s] of Skype and [name of referential user] is not affiliated, sponsored, authorised or otherwise associated by/with the Skype group of companies.”

5. Uses expressly prohibited by Skype

  • You must not use the Skype Brand Elements unless you have express written agreement/permission from Skype or your use is otherwise allowed under these Guidelines.
  • Do not manufacture, sell, or give away merchandise items, such as T-shirts or mugs, that bear any Skype Brand Elements, including logos, except pursuant to an express written license from Skype.
  • You must never refer to Skype in a way that might mislead someone to believe that your use is sponsored, affiliated with, endorsed by Skype or otherwise economically linked to Skype or that might be interpreted to suggest that content displayed by you has been authorised by, or represents the views or opinions of, Skype unless you have received written acknowledgement of the same by Skype.
  • You must not incorporate any of the Skype Brand Elements, or variations thereof, into your own product names, service names, trade marks, logos, company names, domain names, meta tags, adwords, keywords and search terms etc.
  • You must never change or modify the Skype Brand Elements, for example, through adding or deleting hyphens, combining words or by using abbreviations. Altering our logos, for example, changing the colours or dimensions or otherwise modifying them in any way is also prohibited.


  • You must not adopt marks, logos or any other features that are confusingly similar to the Skype Brand Elements and you should not market any product or service under a name that is confusingly similar to our products.
  • You must not copy or imitate the Skype trade dress or get-up or the "look and feel" of any of the Skype Brand Elements or the www.skype.com website, including (but not limited to) the colour combinations, graphics, sounds, imagery, presence icons, typefaces or stylisation used by Skype (or anything similar thereto).
  • You must not use the Skype Brand Elements in a way that is infringing, misleading, unfair, disparaging or obscene or otherwise objectionable, as determined by Skype in its sole discretion.
  • You must not use the Skype Brand Elements in relation to products or services or on web sites that may be considered to be sexually explicit, vulgar, profane, offensive, obscene, defamatory, libellous, slanderous or otherwise unlawful, religiously or racially offensive or otherwise promoting hate towards individuals or groups; or which violate any applicable laws or is otherwise objectionable to Skype, as determined by Skype in its sole discretion.
  • You must not register domain names and Internet “keywords” containing the term “skype”, or any soundalike or lookalike variations such as “scipe”, “scype”, “skipe”, “sykpe”, etc. This includes both Latin and non-Latin character sets, both generic and country-code top level domain name extensions (“gTLDs” and “ccTLDs,” respectively) and applies at all levels of the domain name system (“DNS”) hierarchy. This prohibition also applies to all equivocal non-English translations, transcriptions and transliterations, whether integrated into any “Internationalized Domain Name” (“IDN”) or otherwise. For example, your use or registration of domain names such as “sykpe.com”, “skypeapplication.net” or “scipe-application.fr” (i.e. second level registrations); “skype.xyz.com”, “skype.xyz.123.org” or “skype.xyz.123.net.cn” (third, fourth and fifth level registrations, respectively); as well as “application.scipe” (first level registrations) and “xn--[skype_translation].[idn]” are all expressly prohibited.

6. Selected Skype Trade Marks list (as may be revised from time to time)

Word Marks:

  • Skype™
  • Skype™ AccessWiFi™
  • Skype To Go™
  • SkypePhone™
  • Skype Certified ™
  • Skype Connect™
  • Skype Manager™
  • Silk™

Logos:

  • the Skype logo

     

  • the “S” logo

     

7. General

  • Skype reserves the right to modify these Guidelines at any time. Skype also reserves the right to withdraw permission for or otherwise prohibit your use of the Skype Brand Elements if such use does not conform to these Guidelines and other terms we set from time to time. Skype will not be liable in relation to any loss/damage caused by modification of these Guidelines.
  • YOU EXPRESSLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ THESE SKYPE TRADE MARK GUIDELINES AND UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT THE RIGHTS, OBLIGATIONS, TERMS AND CONDITIONS SET FORTH HEREIN. BY USING ANY OF THE SKYPE BRAND ELEMENTS, YOU EXPRESSLY CONSENT TO BE BOUND BY THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

© Skype – Last revised: April 2014