Twitter · Social Media

How do you get a Twitter handle released?

Ryan Rigterink Midwest Manager at Hematogenix Laboratory

March 17th, 2015

Squatter has a Twitter handle and their account name Is my domain Has anyone had any experience or success getting Twitter to release it to you? In this case I own the domain that the Twitter account is set up asbut do not have a trademark filed yet. Any recommendations are appreciated.

Michael Indrajana Patent Attorney, Law Offices of Michael Indrajana ESQ.

March 17th, 2015

I've recently helped a client with this process, and in my experience it wasn't that bad at all.

We simply sent out our trademark registration information (publicly available from USPTO), and all the other required information from twitter policy. It took us about 3 weeks to regain the twitter handle, and most of the e-mail communications were automatically generated from twitter's e-mail bots.

Here's my checklist of things:

1) TM registration number. If you don't have one, probably having your TM application will be a good start here.

2) You need to show a bona fiderelationship between the handle in question, and yourbusiness/trademarkable name. Factors that help here:

a. Domain ownership.

b. Name of the business/DBA.

c. How long have you been using the name for; the longer the better.

d. Being the senior user of the mark, i.e. you're the first to use the name/mark.

e. Any evidence of brand recognition in the marketplace. For example, you can point out that the first few google page results of the name in question points directly to your product/services. Social media presence helps a lot here too.

f. Potential harm to yourbusiness if the handle stays with the current owner: this is far more relevant if the handle owner actively tweets things that may create consumer confusion in the marketplace. If this is the case, you should make note of the damaging tweets and attach them as a pdf printout in your request (if possible; I never had to go through this far)

Let me know if you're interested for a courtesy consultation, and I can help you with the TM process and/or the transfer request. At the very least, I can share you some of the document templates that might save you time and frustration in generating these kind of letters.

Best of luck.

Benji Hyam

March 17th, 2015

We had success getting an account from a squatter but it was with a trademark filed. We were able to have the account transferred within a week. I'm not sure if owning a domain is enough to get twitter to transfer it over to you.


March 17th, 2015

One way I received me domain from an inactive account was by doing the following:

Went to Godaddy and registered " and". I also create email accounts with those domain names. I then reported these inactive accounts as misrepresenting my business and that I would love the handles to be enabled for my organization moving forward. 

A few days later I was in possession of the handle that I desired.

Nicole Donnelly Creating HappyCampers Every Day

March 17th, 2015

Usually twitter will release if it's been inactive for 2 years. You can call their ad sales team to get a live body to help you and if the person

Randy Martinez Founder/CEO at Incendiary Games

March 17th, 2015

I've never had to deal with this but it sounds like they won't budge until you get your registered trademark unless its inactive.

Bob Troia Entrepreneur. Builder. Creative Technologist.

March 17th, 2015

Unless you have a pre-existing trademark, it will be difficult. I have had success in the past getting an account released for a client who had a pre-existing trademark, but in another case they wouldn't release it (because the client hadn't yet secured the trademark, so couldn't prove prior use). 

Twitter states that they release inactive handles after a period of inactivity (I forget if it's 1.5 or 2 years), but I've never actually seen them release an account back to the public.

Simon Mutlu Reflektion - Personalization for Ecommerce Organizations

March 17th, 2015

I have had a couple of Twitter handles released to me over the years. You basically file an "impersonation request" (unless they have since changed the process) and then wait a couple of months without any response = ) Then, one day, your wish is (hopefully) magically granted.

Tom Maiaroto Full Stack Consultant

March 17th, 2015

They don't easily let these go. I had a trademark (standard character - aka word mark, NOT an image) which helped, but it took two requests. My second request (months later) explained that the account was also inactive for a long period of time not only since my last request but even before that.

I imagine if the account was not abandoned, it would've been a different story.

Matthew Stradiotto Co-Founder, Matchstick Inc.

March 17th, 2015

This is tricky territory.  We've had some good and bad experiences aiming to secure Twitter usernames.  If the account is inactive, the process is straightforward.  If the account is active, it is entirely up to you and the owner to negotiate.  Twitter does not condone this.  They will however facilitate the fair transfer of usernames between users - once an agreement has been struck.  This can be managed through their account team.  Don't let anyone tell you that there is a "going rate" for usernames - there is NO precedent here.  Good luck!  We've settled on the next-best username in some cases to avoid headaches. :)

Ryan Rigterink Midwest Manager at Hematogenix Laboratory

March 17th, 2015

@Benji was your trademark for just your brand-name or for your domain name?