Terms & Conditions

These terms and conditions (Terms) were last updated on 18 October 2019.

These Terms do not apply to the what3words Alexa Ride Skill (to read those terms, click https://what3words.com/amazon-alexa-ride-skill-terms/).

This page provides you with information about us (“what3words Limited”) and sets out the legal terms and conditions which apply to your use of:

  • what3words.com (the Site);
  • the Apps (as defined below);
  • the what3words ArcGIS Locator (as defined below);
  • the what3words Excel Add-in (as defined below); and
  • the what3words Map (as defined below),

together the “what3words Products”.

In addition, if you access the what3words Products through a third party product or tool (such as QGIS, FME, or any tools capable of batch conversions, such as GIS tools and bespoke developments) then you must also comply with these Terms.

These Terms also refer to the following additional terms and conditions, which also apply to your use of the what3words Products:

  • Our Privacy Policy: this sets out details the personal data we collect in relation to you and explains how we handle that personal data.
  • The what3words Map and the Apps utilise various third party mapping products. Those third parties may have their own terms that also apply to your use of the what3words Products. Where this is the case a link to the applicable third party terms can be found with each map that is displayed; and
  • Other terms and conditions relating to third party software and data, details of which are set out in Schedule 1 at the end of these Terms.

Other products and services (not listed above) are also available through our Site and separate terms and conditions will apply to your use of those products and services. We will tell you which terms and conditions apply to a particular product or service and you must then accept them in order to use that product or service. Please email support@what3words.com for further information.

Please read these Terms carefully and make sure that you understand them before using any of the what3words Products (as defined above). Please note that by using any of the what3words Products, you agree to be bound by these Terms and any other documents expressly referred to in them.

We recommend that you save or print a copy of these Terms, so that you can keep them for future reference. However, we may amend these Terms from time to time, and so every time you wish to use any of the what3words Products for the latest version of the Terms as it is that version which will apply to your use of the what3words Products.

1. Information about us

1.1 The what3words Products are operated by what3words Limited, a company registered in England and Wales under company number 08430008 and with our registered office at Dewmead House, Hinxworth, Baldock, Herts, SG7 5HD. Our VAT number is GB 158009805. References to “we”, “us” and “our” are references to what3words Limited.

1.2 To contact us, please see our Contact Us page what3words.com/contact.

2. Definitions used in these Terms

2.1 We use a number of definitions in these Terms. Where you see the following words or phrases in these Terms they have the following meanings:

“三地址 App” means the versions of the what3words iOS and Android mobile applications which are available for download in the People’s Republic of China.

“三地址 Map Site” means the separate version of that what3words Map specifically designed to operate effectively within the People’s Republic of China, to which individuals seeking to access the what3words Map from within that region will be automatically redirected;

“Apps” means the “what3words” and “3WordPhoto” iOS and Android mobile applications. Note that the reference to the “what3words” app includes both the Global what3words App and the 三词地址 App.

“3 Word Address” means any of the combinations of 3 words which have been developed and generated by us and are discoverable and searchable by you using the Software;

“3 Word Address Location” means the latitude and longitude coordinates associated with a 3 Word Address;

“Content” means text, graphics, photographs, sound and/or video material;

“Global what3words App” means the version of the iOS and Android mobile applications which are available for download worldwide (excluding the People’s Republic of China);

“Intellectual Property Rights” means all copyright, database rights, trade marks, designs, service marks, community design rights, patents, utility models, business names and domain names, rights in computer software, rights to inventions, supplementary protection certificates, the right to sue for passing off, right to use, and protect the confidentiality of, confidential information (including know-how, and, trade secrets), goodwill, and any other similar rights, and all other intellectual property rights, in each case whether registered or unregistered and including any applications and rights to apply and be granted, renewals or extensions of, and rights to claim priority from, such rights and all similar or equivalent rights or forms of protection, which subsist or will subsist now or in the future, in each case in any part of the world;

“Software” means the software contained on or used in the what3words Products from time to time, including, but not limited to, the software which converts 3 Word Addresses to latitude and longitude coordinates and vice versa, and the software that provides suggestions for partial or complete 3 Word Addresses;

“Trade Marks” means all registered and unregistered trade marks, logos, and brands of what3words Limited;

what3words ArcGIS Locator” means the tool available at https://arcgis.what3words.com/w3w/rest/services/ that allows you to add to the ArcGIS platform the ability to discover and search for a 3 Word Address.

“what3words Data” means any individual words, list or sequence of words (including the Word List), databases or other data accessible through the Software, including but not limited to 3 Word Addresses, 3 Word Address Locations and word lists and geographic reference data used for the generation and allocation of 3 Word Addresses;

what3words Excel Add-in” means the tool available to download at https://what3words.com/products/microsoft-excel-plugin/ that allows you batch convert between 3 Word Addresses and coordinates;

“what3words Map” means the free tool available at https://map.what3words.com/ which allows you to discover, search for and share 3 Word Addresses;

“what3words Materials” means all the content and materials used in or available on or through the what3words Products and any other materials provided to you or made available to you by us, including the Software, what3words Data, Trade Marks, and Content;

“Word List” means the word list from which the 3 words may be taken for the 3 Word Address.

3. Rights in what3words Materials and your licence to use them

3.1 We are the owner or licensee of all of the what3words Materials and all Intellectual Property Rights in the what3words Materials. You acknowledge that in being permitted to use the what3words Products and the what3words Materials as set out in these Terms, the Intellectual Property Rights are licensed (not sold) to you solely pursuant to the Terms, and that you have no other rights in, or to, the Intellectual Property Rights and nothing in these Terms shall be deemed to grant you any right, title or interest in the what3words Materials or any of the Intellectual Property Rights in the what3words Materials.

3.2 In consideration of you agreeing to abide by these Terms, we grant to you a non-assignable, non-transferable, non-exclusive and revocable licence to use the Intellectual Property Rights in the what3words Materials for the sole purpose of using the what3words Products to the extent permitted by and in accordance with these Terms. Such licence is conditional on your compliance with these Terms and you keeping intact all copyright and other proprietary notices.

3.3 Except as expressly set out in clause 3.10 of these Terms, any copying, re-utilisation, extraction, reproduction or redistribution of the what3words Materials or any of the Intellectual Property Rights in the what3words Materials is expressly prohibited, and this shall include but not be limited to copying or reproduction to any other server or location for further copying, reproduction or redistribution.

3.4 Except to the maximum extent permitted by law, you shall not, and shall not permit any third party to, adapt, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, modify, reproduce or create derivative works from any of the what3words Materials in any way without obtaining our express prior written consent in each instance.

3.5 You may not use what3words Products or any part of the what3words Materials for immoral or illegal purposes, nor for any other purpose which we determine may be threatening, abusive or harmful or in any manner which might reasonable be considered to injure, tarnish, damage or otherwise negatively affect the reputation and goodwill associated with the what3words brand. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes, but is not limited to, utilising the what3words Products and/or what3words Materials in respect of criminal activity or in contravention of any regulation or laws.

3.6 You may not: (A) access the what3words Materials in violation of any applicable law or regulation; or (B) access the what3words Materials in any manner that: (i) compromises, breaks or circumvents any of our technical processes or security measures associated with the what3words Materials (or enable any third party to do so), including but not limited to, the creation or transmission of any virus, worms, trojan horse, cancel-bot or any other destructive or contaminating program; (ii) poses a security vulnerability to customers or users of the what3words Materials; or (iii) tests the vulnerability of our systems or networks.

3.7 You must not use the what3words Products or any part of the what3words Materials for any re-sale or sub-licensing purposes (whether for a fee or otherwise) including the distribution or provision (whether for a fee or otherwise) to any third-party of any list or database of 3 Word Addresses with 3 Word Address Locations. Further, you must not publish (yourself or via a third party) any list or database of 3 Word Addresses with 3 Word Address Locations.

3.8 You must ensure that all use you make of the what3words Products and any part of the what3words Materials is at all times in compliance with all applicable law and the rules that we set out in clause 4, below.

3.9 You may use our Content and Trade Marks in accordance with these Terms and the guidelines published from time-to-time on our website. However, if you use our Content or Trade Marks, you do so acknowledging that this use is under license from us, and you agree that your use will not cause any confusion as to the ownership of such Content or Trade Marks.

3.10 Subject to your compliance with the provisions of clauses 3.4 to 3.9 above, you may use any 3 Word Address, provided that:

(a) it is only for the purposes of communicating a location (for example on a website, on a business card, on a printed sign, in a printed document, or in an email signature); and

(b) you in no way use 3 Word Addresses or 3 Word Address Locations to provide or seek to provide a product or service the same as or similar to any product or service provided by us; and

(c) you use only an individual 3 Word Address or a small number (up to a maximum of 10,000) 3 Word Addresses.

If you wish to make any other use of any 3 Word Address(es) then you must contact us for our permission and/or enter into a separate licence agreement with us.

3.11 If you use any of the what3words Products in breach of any of these Terms then your right to use the what3words Products will cease immediately (and you will immediately cease such use) and if you have made or permitted anyone to make any copies of any what3words Materials you must ensure that all those copies are, at our option, returned to us or destroyed.

4. Rules relating to your use of the what3words Products

4.1 You are responsible for making all arrangements that may be necessary for you to have access to any of the what3words Products.

4.2 If at any time you are required to register or log in to any of the what3words Products or any part of either of them then you may choose or be provided with a username, user identification code, password or other piece of information forming part of our security procedures. You must treat such information as confidential, and you must keep it secure and not disclose it to any third party. We have the right to disable any user identification code, password or other piece of information forming part of our security procedures, whether chosen by you or allocated by us, at any time, if in our opinion you have failed to comply with any of the provisions of these Terms or we believe that such code, password or other information has not been kept confidential and secure or has otherwise been misused. Note that users of the 三词地址 App and the 三词地址 Map Site do not at present have the ability to register for a what3words account.

4.3 Access to the what3words Products is permitted on a temporary basis, and we reserve the right to withdraw, amend and/or restrict access to any part of the what3words Products without notice. We will not be liable if for any reason any part of the what3words Products is unavailable or for which access is restricted, at any time or for any period.

4.4 The material and information displayed on the what3words Products is provided for general information only and is not intended to be advice or information on which you should rely. Although we make reasonable efforts to update such material and information, it is provided without any representations, guarantees, conditions or warranties (in each case whether express or implied) as to its accuracy, completeness or currency. We may at any time alter such material and information without communicating the alteration to you.

4.5 Where any of the what3words Products contains links to other websites or resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your information only. Such links should not be interpreted as approval by us of such other websites or resources or their contents. We have no control over the contents of those websites or resources, or how they handle any links we provide to them, and we accept no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them.

5. Content Uploading

5.1 We may from time to time enable features that allow you to upload any photograph, video, comments, messages or other content (the “User Content”). If you use any such feature you must comply with the provisions of this clause 5.

5.2 By uploading any User Content you acknowledge and agree that you are the author and owner of that User Content and all rights in it and that it complies with all applicable laws and is not obscene, defamatory or likely to be offensive to any other person and will not cause any damage to our reputation.

5.3 Subject to our Privacy Policy, you also agree that we have the right to delete any of the User Content that you may upload from time to time and to edit it and use it as we see fit on the what3words Products and in connection with any of our other sites, products or services as may exist from time to time, and in connection with any promotion, publicity or marketing of the what3words Products or any of our other sites, products or services as may exist from time to time.

6. Rules about linking to our Site

6.1 You may link to any page of our Site (including the what3words Map Site), provided you do so in a way that is fair and legal and does not damage our reputation or take advantage of it. However, our Site (including the what3words Map Site) must not be framed on any other website.

6.2 You must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement on our part where none exists.

6.3 You must not establish a link to our Site, or to the what3words Map Site, in any website that is not owned by you and the website in which you are linking must comply in all respects with the provisions of these Terms relating to your use of this Site, including, but not limited to, permitting any circumvention of any of our processes.

6.4 We reserve the right to withdraw Site linking permission without notice.

7. Prices advertised on our Site

7.1 If we make any charges for any of our products or services then the price for these may from time to time be quoted on our Site. We take all reasonable care to ensure that such prices are correct at the time when the relevant information was entered onto the system, but they may vary for various reasons, including currency fluctuations. Please confirm the price of any product or service and be sure that you are happy with that before you order that product or service. We will not change any price which has been confirmed on a “purchase confirmation”.

7.2 If we discover an error in the price of any of our products or services that you have ordered we will inform you of this error and we will give you the option of continuing with the purchase at the correct price or cancelling your order. We will not process your order until we have your instructions. If we are unable to contact you using the contact details you provided during the order process, we will treat the order as cancelled and notify you in writing. Please note that if the pricing error is obvious and unmistakeable and could have reasonably been recognised by you as a mispricing, we do not have to provide the product or service to you at the incorrect (lower) price.

8. Our liability to you

8.1 We do not exclude or limit in any way our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so. This includes liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence or the negligence of our employees, agents or subcontractors and for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

8.2 Different limitations and exclusions of liability will apply to liability arising as a result of the supply of any of our products or services, other than the what3words Products, to you. These will be set out in the terms and conditions that relate to the supply of those products or services to you.

8.3 If you are a business user:

(a) we exclude all implied conditions, warranties, representations or other terms that may apply to the what3words Products, or any what3words Material;
(b) we will not be liable to you for any loss or damage, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, even if foreseeable, arising under or in connection with:
(i) use of, or inability to use, any of the what3words Products; or
(ii) use of or reliance on any what3words Materials;
(c) in particular, we will not be liable for:
(i) loss of profits, sales, business, or revenue;
(ii) business interruption;
(iii) loss of anticipated savings;
(iv) loss of business opportunity, goodwill or reputation; or
(v) any indirect or consequential loss or damage.

8.4 If you are a consumer user:

(a) please note that we provide the what3words Products to you only for domestic and private use and not for any commercial or business purposes. We will therefore not have any liability to you for any loss of profits, loss of business or loss of business opportunity, or for any business interruption;

(b) if defective digital content that we have supplied damages a device or digital content belonging to you and this is caused by our failure to use reasonable care and skill, we will either repair the damage or pay you compensation.

8.5 Where we supply to you coordinates for a location as part of the what3words Products, for use with navigation devices, we shall not be liable to you for any inaccuracies in the coordinates supplied nor for any consequence, however arising, of the provision of inaccurate coordinates.

8.6 We shall not be liable to you for any failure, however caused, in any of the what3words Products, or their functioning or their ability to identify a location or find the 3 words for any location, or for any consequence of such failure.

8.7 While we have made all reasonable efforts to remove potentially offensive words from the Word List, we shall not be liable to you for any words, word combinations or word orders which may be offensive, upsetting or annoying in any way or for any reason to you, to anyone receiving those words for any purpose (for example, in communicating the location described by the words in question) or to anyone or anything associated with the location described by those 3 words.

8.8 We do not intend to make changes to words in the Word List or any 3 Word Address, but we cannot rule out that in exceptional circumstances this may be necessary. Accordingly, we reserve the right to change any words in the Word List and any 3 Word Address and shall not be liable to you if any 3 Word Address previously supplied ceases to work or for any consequences of such cessation. In the event that we do have to make any changes, we will implement an appropriate transition plan to minimise disruption.

9. Events outside our control

We will not be liable or responsible for any failure to perform, or delay in performance of, any of our obligations under these Terms that is caused by an Event Outside Our Control. An “Event Outside Our Control” is:
“any act or event beyond our reasonable control, including without limitation accident to or breakdown of delivery vehicle, strikes, lock-outs or other industrial action by third parties, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack, war (whether declared or not) or threat or preparation for war, fire, explosion, storm, flood, earthquake, subsidence, epidemic or other natural disaster, or failure of public or private telecommunications networks or impossibility of the use of railways, shipping, aircraft, motor transport or other means of public or private transport.”

10. Responsibility for computer viruses and internet transmissions

10.1 We do not guarantee that the what3words Products, or any what3words Materials will be secure or free from bugs or viruses.

10.2 You are responsible for configuring your information technology, computer programmes and platform to access the what3words Products. You should use your own virus protection software.

10.3 You must not misuse any of the what3words Products, or any what3words Materials, by knowingly introducing viruses, trojans, worms, logic bombs or other material that is malicious or technologically harmful. You must not attempt to gain unauthorised access to any of the what3words Products, or any server, computer or database connected to the what3words Products or on which it is stored. You must not attack the whats3words Products via a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of service attack. By breaching this provision, you would commit a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. We shall be entitled to report any such breach to the relevant law enforcement authorities and we will co-operate with those authorities by disclosing your identity to them. In the event of such a breach, your right to use the what3words Products and any what3words Materials will cease immediately.

10.4 Please be aware that internet transmissions are never completely private or secure and that any message or information you send using or via the what3words Products may be read or intercepted by others, even if there is a special notice that a particular transmission is encrypted.

11. Communications between us

11.1 When we refer, in these Terms, to “in writing”, this will include e-mail.

11.2 If you wish to contact us in writing, or if any clause in these Terms requires you to give us notice in writing, you can send this to us by e-mail to support@what3words.com. We will confirm receipt of this by contacting you in writing, normally by e-mail.

11.3 If we have to contact you or give you notice in writing, we will generally do so by e-mail to the e-mail address you have most recently provided to us

11.4 If you have signed up to receive our newsletter then we will send this to you from time to time. If you wish to unsubscribe you may do so at any time.

12. Other important terms

12.1 We may transfer our rights and obligations under these Terms to another party, but this will not affect your rights or our obligations under these Terms.

12.2 You may only transfer your rights or your obligations under these Terms to another person if we agree in writing.

12.3 These Terms are between you and us. No other person shall have any rights to enforce any part of these Terms, whether under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties Act) 1999 or otherwise and we and you will not need their consent to cancel or make any changes to these Terms.

12.4 If any provision or part-provision of the Terms is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable, it will be deemed deleted, but that will not affect the validity and enforceability of the rest of the Terms.

12.5 If we fail to insist that you perform any of your obligations under these Terms, or if we do not enforce our rights against you, or if we delay in doing so, that will not mean that we have waived our rights against you and will not mean that you do not have to comply with those obligations. If we do waive a default by you, we will only do so in writing, and that will not mean that we will automatically waive any later default by you.

12.6 These Terms are governed by and interpreted in accordance with English law. Subject to clause 12.7 below, this means any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms will be governed by English law. You and we both agree that the courts of England and Wales will have exclusive jurisdiction.

12.7 People’s Republic of China only – Jurisdiction. If you access the what3words Products in the People’s Republic of China, any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or relating to these Terms, or the breach thereof, shall be determined by arbitration administered by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution in accordance with its International Arbitration Rules. The number of arbitrators shall be one. The place of arbitration shall be Hong Kong. The arbitration shall be held, and the award rendered, in English. Judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.


Schedule 1

Third party software

The what3words Products contain third party software, for which what3words is required to provide attribution, which are available under open source or free software licenses. Please click on the following link for further information: Third Party Legal Notices

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