As global awareness of the PADI brand continues to increase, it’s time for a reminder of existing trademark usage guidelines and how these apply to social media.
Trademark (“Marks”) usage rights granted to PADI Members have not changed, and are clearly stated in the License Agreement for PADI Members. These rights are given on an individual, non-transferable basis, which means that rights cannot be provided to a third party such as a non-PADI dive store, etc. This is the case even if the individual PADI Member works there or owns the business.
There are various uses of the Marks that are specifically not allowed, most particularly the use of any of the PADI, DSAT, EFR or PAF company names, trade names or Marks in internet domain names or email addresses. This means that PADI Members may not use a PADI Mark or trade name in a personal or store website root URL, so that no one member is able to obtain a marketing advantage over others by setting up exclusive PADI domain names. However, it is acceptable (and positively encouraged) for PADI course listings to be shown in a member website URL, such as www.xyzscuba.com/padiidc or www.xyzdivers.com/padiopenwaterdivercouse. To put it more simply, the wording following the first forward slash, which refers to the page path, is not subject to the “no use” rule.
There is a similar need to avoid exclusive uses of PADI’s names and Marks in social media, however in order to encourage good social media strategy, PADI Members are permitted to use the Marks to create PADI Diver, etc., groups on Facebook and other social media pages. However, if you create such Pages, Profiles or Groups, there must be a personal identifier to the name and URL to make it clear who has set it up, and to make sure again that no one member obtains exclusive rights to use a PADI name. As simple examples:
Not acceptable: https://www.facebook.com/PADIDivingThailand
These guidelines would also apply to other social media channels, such as LinkedIn, You Tube and Instagram.
The use of PADI Marks by non-PADI members, both individuals and businesses, remains prohibited however, and will be dealt with appropriately.
Hopefully, these guidelines will help you maintain effective and appropriate trademark use going forward in these digitally expanding times. For further information or questions regarding the acceptable use of PADI Trademarks, contact your Regional Training Consultant, or the Quality Management team (email@example.com) at PADI.