what3words Terms and Conditions

(last updated on 5 February 2021)

These terms and conditions contain much more detail, but please note the following key points:

  • Our Website and Apps are made available free of charge to use (whether for personal use or for business use).
    • We want people to be using 3 word addresses as a way of communicating location.
    • If you wish to display a 3 word address (for example, of your home or business) on a sign or on your website, this is free and you do not need to enter into a licence agreement with us.  There is more guidance on how to display a 3 word address here and get in touch with us if you need any assistance

1. What is in these terms and which terms apply to you?

1.1. This page sets out the legally binding terms and conditions (these “Terms”) which apply to your use of our Website, the Apps, the FindMe Service, the what3words ArcGIS Locator, the what3words Excel Add-in, and the what3words Map (each as more particularly defined in Clause 3.1 below), together being 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.

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

– our Privacy Policy: this sets out how we process any personal data that we collect from you or that you provide to us;

– 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

– as the what3words Products may contain third party software which is available under open source or free software licences, and for which what3words is required to provide attribution), please note the following Third Party Legal Notices. The Terms do not alter any rights or obligations you may have under those open source or free software licences.

1.3. Please read these Terms carefully and make sure that you understand them before using any of the what3words Products. By using any of the what3words Products, you confirm that you accept, and agree to be bound by, these Terms and any other documents expressly referred to in them.

1.4. 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, please check this page for the latest version of the Terms as it is that version which will apply to your use of the what3words Products.

1.5. Other products and services (not listed above) are also available through our Website and other 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

2. Information about us and contact details

2.1. The what3words Products are operated by what3words Limited, a company registered in England and Wales, with its registered address at Studio 301 Great Western Studios, 65 Alfred Rd, London, England, W2 5EU, UK (“what3words”, “we” or “us”).

2.2. We provide you with the ability to contact us easily: you can get in touch via our ‘Contact Us’ page or send us a message using the ‘live chat’ button (enabled by Intercom) on our Website. We will endeavour to respond to you as soon as possible. If you wish to give us notice in writing regarding these Terms, please email us at support@what3words.com.

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

3. Definitions and Interpretation

3.1. Where you see the following words or phrases in these Terms, they have the following meanings:

(a) “三词地址 App” means the versions of the “what3words” iOS and Android mobile applications which are designed for use in the People’s Republic of China;

(b) “三词地址 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;

(c) “3 Word Address” means a sequence of 3 words representing a location, which has been developed and generated by what3words and is discoverable by you using the what3words Products;

(d) “3 Word Address Location” means the latitude and longitude coordinates corresponding with a 3 Word Address;

(e) “Apps” means:

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

(ii) the 三词地址 App;

(iii) the “what3words Work” application; and

(iv) any “3word”-branded applications which what3words has previously made available for download;

(f) “FindMe Service” means the service operated by what3words which is designed to display the 3 Word Address of your current location, through links including findme.w3w.co;

(g) “Intellectual Property Rights” means patents, utility models, rights to inventions, copyright and neighbouring and related rights, trade marks and service marks, business names and domain names, rights in get-up and trade dress, goodwill and the right to sue for passing off or unfair competition, rights in designs, database rights, rights to use, and protect the confidentiality of, confidential information (including know-how and trade secrets), and all other intellectual property rights, in each case whether registered or unregistered and including all applications and rights to apply for 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 any part of the world;

(h) “Website” means what3words.com;

(i) “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;

(j) “what3words Awards” is as defined in Clause 7.4;

(k) “what3words Brand Assets” means what3words’ registered and unregistered trade marks, logos, related images, sound files, video files, and other materials, that are made available to you here (or any successor URL that what3words provides to you) and/or other brand materials that we directly provide to you;

(l) “what3words Data” means any sequence of words or other data that is derived from or accessible via use of the what3words Products, including 3 Word Addresses, 3 Word Address Locations, language lists and Word Lists;

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

(n) “what3words IP” is as defined in Clause 4.1;

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

(p) “what3words Products” means Website, the Apps, the what3words ArcGIS Locator, the what3words Excel Add-in, and the what3words Map; and

(q) “Word List” means each list of words from which 3 Word Addresses are generated.

3.2. Unless the context otherwise requires, words in the singular shall include the plural and, in the plural, shall include the singular.

3.3. Any words following the terms including, include, in particular, for example or any similar expression shall be construed without limitation and accordingly will not limit the meaning of the words preceding them.

3.4. All headings are for ease of reference only and will not affect the construction or interpretation of these Terms.

3.5. In these Terms the phrase “in writing” includes e-mail.

3.6. All obligations on you not to do something in these Terms shall be construed as an obligation not to agree or allow that thing to be done.

4. Your rights to use the what3words Products and IP

4.1. IP ownership. We are the owner or licensee of all Intellectual Property Rights in and to the what3words Products, including:

(a) the what3words Data;

(b) all the content and materials used in or available on or through the what3words Products;

(c) the software contained on or used in the what3words Products from time to time, including 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; and

(d) the what3words Brand Assets,
(together, the “what3words IP”).

4.2. Your rights to use the what3words Products. We hereby grant you the right to use the what3words Products and, to the extent necessary for such use, we grant to you a non-assignable, non-transferable, non-exclusive and revocable licence to use the what3words IP, solely to the extent permitted by and in accordance with these Terms. You acknowledge that in being permitted to use the what3words Products, these Intellectual Property Rights are licensed (not sold) to you solely pursuant to the Terms, and that you have no other right, title, or interest in, or to, the Intellectual Property Rights in the what3words Products.

4.3. 3 Word Addresses. Subject to your compliance with the provisions of Clause 5, you may use any 3 Word Address for purposes connected with communication of locations, including listing your 3 Word Address on your website, displaying a sign with a 3 Word Address (see our guidance on this here) and sharing your location with others. You may store an unlimited number of 3 Word Addresses without their corresponding 3 Word Address Locations. If you would like to store 3 Word Addresses alongside 3 Word Address Locations, please see clause 5.5.

4.4. what3words Brand Assets. We hereby grant you a revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive licence to use the what3words Brand Assets for the sole purpose of publicising your use of the what3words Products and/or any partnership that we have agreed exists between you and what3words, provided that:

(a) your use of the what3words Brand Assets is in accordance with the style guide published from time to time on our Website and any instructions or directions given to you by us;

(b) you acknowledge that any goodwill derived from your use of the what3words Brand Assets shall inure to the benefit of what3words and if requested by us, you shall promptly execute any document confirming assignment of that goodwill to us;

(c) you shall not do, or omit to do, any act that may weaken, damage or be detrimental to the what3words Brand Assets or the reputation or goodwill associated with the what3words Brand Assets or what3words, or that may invalidate or jeopardise the registration of any trade mark within the what3words Brand Assets;

(d) you shall not apply for, or obtain, registration of any trade or service mark, trade name or domain name in any country anywhere in the world which consists of, or contains, or which is in the reasonable opinion of what3words confusingly similar to, the what3words Brand Assets or permit, procure or assist any third party to do the same; and

(e) if you become aware of any actual, suspected or threatened infringement of any of the what3words Brand Assets, or a claim that any of the what3words Brand Assets is infringing the rights of a third party, you shall notify what3words promptly.

5. Restrictions on your use of what3words Products

5.1. Except as expressly set out in Clause 4.3 and 4.4 of these Terms, any copying, re-utilisation, extraction, reproduction or redistribution of any element of the what3words IP is expressly prohibited.

5.2. You shall not adapt, reverse engineer or decompile (except to the limited extent expressly authorised by applicable law), disassemble, modify, reproduce or create derivative works from, any of the what3words Products or the what3words IP in any way without obtaining our express prior written consent in each instance.

5.3. Immoral, illegal or criminal purposes. You may not use what3words Products or any part of the what3words IP:

(a) for any immoral, illegal, threatening, abusive or harmful purpose;

(b) in any manner which might reasonably be considered to injure, tarnish, damage or otherwise negatively affect the reputation and goodwill associated with the what3words brand;

(c) for any purpose that is intended to cause, or may reasonably be considered to cause, a loss of life; or

(d) if you are a person, firm or entity: (i) located in any country that is subject to a trade embargo, or has been designated as a terrorist supporting country, by the United States government; (ii) that is owned or controlled by, or affiliated with, the government of any such embargoed or terrorist supporting country; or (iii) listed on any list of prohibited and restricted parties, including any terrorist organisation, published by the European Union, the United Nations or the United States Government.

5.4. Security. You may not access the what3words Products, or any server, computer or database connected to the what3words Products, in any manner that:

(a) compromises, breaks or circumvents any of our technical processes or security measures associated with the what3words Products, including the creation or transmission of any virus, worms, trojan horse, cancel-bot or any other destructive or contaminating program;

(b) poses a security vulnerability to customers or users of the what3words Products;

(c) tests the vulnerability of our systems or networks; or

(d) attempts unauthorised access or constitutes an attack such as a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of service attack (including where such an attack is a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990).

5.5. Use Limitation. You must not use the what3words Products or any part of the what3words IP for any re-sale or sub-licensing purposes, in each case whether for a fee or otherwise (this does not refer to linking to our Website, which is covered by clause 8). You must not create, store, publish, provide or distribute (yourself or via a third party) any list or database of 3 Word Addresses together with their corresponding 3 Word Address Locations if:

(a) you are providing or seeking to provide a product or service that is the same or similar to any product or service provided by what3words;

(b) you are doing so with the intention of circumventing yourself or another party using one of our other products or services; or

(c) the volume of 3 Word Addresses and 3 Word Address Locations in your list/database is greater than that which could have been collected by a person using the what3Words Products in good faith.

5.6. Consequences of your breach. If you breach any of these Terms, or we suspect you have breached any of the restrictions in Clause 5.3, then your right to use the what3words Products will cease immediately. You shall immediately cease such use and if you have made or permitted anyone to make any copies of any what3words IP you must ensure that all those copies are, at our option, returned to us or destroyed.

5.7. No reliance. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to update the material and information displayed on the what3words Products, it is provided to you for general information only and is not intended to be advice or information on which you should rely. We may at any time alter such material and information without communicating the alteration to you.

5.8. Third party links. 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.

6. what3words Accounts and Saved Locations

6.1. Usernames and passwords. If you wish to register for a what3words account in order to log into any of the what3words Products, you will provide us with or be provided with a username, user identification code, password and/or other information forming part of our security procedures (your “Access Credentials”). You must treat your Access Credentials as confidential and keep them secure.

6.2. Our right to disable an account. We have the right to suspend or disable access to any what3words account (including access to w3w.community) if in our opinion you have failed to comply with any of the provisions of these Terms or we believe that your Access Credentials have not been kept confidential or secure or that they have otherwise been misused.

6.3. Minimum age requirement. In order to sign up for a what3words account (including w3w.community), you must be at least 13 years of age, or any greater age as is required by applicable laws in your country. Creating an account with false information, or registering an account on behalf of someone who is underage, is a violation of our Terms. If you become aware that an underage child has created a what3words account, please email us at dataprotection@what3words.com.

6.4. Saved Locations. If you choose to use the “Saved Locations” functionality on your what3words account, you can save specific 3 Word Addresses and label them (e.g. “home” or “work”) and we store these (together with your account information) so that you can access them whenever you log in. You must not save any personal data about other people in your labels (such as names of other people) or any sensitive personal data such as health information (relating to yourself or others). If you are inputting someone’s email address in order to enable them to access a list of “Saved Locations” that you have created, please ensure you have permission from the intended recipient to use their email address in this way.

6.5. Push Notifications. If your device settings are opted-in to receive push notifications, you may receive notifications relating to “Saved Locations”: for example, if someone invites you to follow a list or if someone updates a list that you are following. You can manage your push notification preferences or deactivate these notifications at any time in your device settings.

6.6. Please note that users of the 三词地址 App and the 三词地址 Map Site do not currently have the ability to register for a what3words account.

7. w3w.community

7.1. If you choose to sign up for our global community of supporters, w3w.community, you must comply with the provisions of this Clause 7 and any community guidelines that we make available on the community forum from time to time.

7.2. We may enable features that allow you to upload any text, images, videos and other content (“User Content”) to our w3w.community forum or our Website. By uploading any User Content you acknowledge and agree that:

(a) you are the author and owner of that User Content and all rights in it;

(b) it complies with all applicable laws;

(c) it is not obscene, defamatory or likely to be offensive to any other person; and

(d) it is not reasonably likely to cause any damage to our reputation.
You also agree that we have the right to delete any of the User Content that you upload for any reason, to edit it and to use it in, and in connection with any promotion, publicity or marketing of, the what3words Products and any of our other sites, products or services as may exist from time to time.

7.3. We may personalise your content/experience on the w3w.community forum and deliver the type of content and marketing materials (if you have provided your consent to receiving marketing materials) that we think you will be most interested in.

7.4. In connection with your participation in w3w.community or otherwise, we may choose to allocate or give to you points, badges, prizes, awards or digital representations of value (collectively “what3words Awards”) solely at our discretion. We reserve the right to replace any stated what3words Awards with a prize or prizes that we consider to be of broadly equivalent value. what3words Awards are non-transferable and non-exchangeable. You acknowledge that what3words Awards do not constitute legal tender. We offer no cash alternatives for any what3words Awards.

8. Rules about linking to our Website

8.1. You may establish a link to any page of our Website (including the what3words Map) from a website that is owned or operated or you, provided that:

(a) you do so in a way that is fair and legal and does not damage our reputation or take advantage of it;

(b) you do not suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement on our part where none exists;

(c) the website in which you are linking complies in all respects with the provisions of these Terms relating to your use of the Website, including not permitting circumvention of our processes; and

(d) our Website (including the what3words Map) must not be framed on any other website.

8.2. We reserve the right to withdraw permission to link to our Website with immediate effect.

9. Responsibility for computer viruses and internet transmissions

9.1. We do not guarantee that the what3words Products will be secure or free from bugs or viruses. 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.

9.2. 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.

10. Prices advertised on our Site

10.1. If we charge a fee for any of our products or services, the relevant price may from time to time be quoted on our Website. 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”.

10.2. 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.

11. Our liability to you

11.1. The what3words Products are provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. what3words disclaims all warranties regarding the what3words Products, what3words Brand Assets and the what3words Awards to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, whether express or implied, including any and all implied warranties of merchantability, accuracy, results of use, reliability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, interference with quiet enjoyment, and non-infringement of third-party rights. In particular, what3words disclaims any warranty that use of the what3words Products will be uninterrupted or error free.

11.2. We do not exclude or limit in any way our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so. Nothing in these Terms shall limit our liability for death or personal injury arising from our negligence, or for fraud, or for anything else which cannot be limited or excluded by applicable law.

11.3. Subject to Clause 11.2, if you are a business user, what3words shall not be liable in contract, tort (including negligence), pre-contract or other representations (other than fraudulent misrepresentations) or otherwise to you or any third party for any loss or damage whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with these Terms or the what3words Products (including use of or inability to use the what3words Products), including:

(a) any loss of revenues, profits, contracts, business or anticipated savings or other pure economic loss;

(b) any corruption of data or information;

(c) any loss of goodwill or reputation; or

(d) any punitive, special, indirect or consequential losses, charges or expenses,
in any case, whether or not such losses were within your contemplation at the date you entered into these Terms.

11.4. Subject to Clause 11.2, 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. Subject to Clause 11.2, 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; and

(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.

11.5. Subject to Clause 11.2:

(a) where we supply to you coordinates for a location as part of the what3words Products, 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;

(b) 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; and

(c) what3words shall not be liable in contract, tort (including negligence), pre-contract or other representations (other than fraudulent misrepresentations) or otherwise to you or any third party for any loss or damage whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with w3w.community or what3words Awards.

11.6. Whilst 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.

11.7. 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.

12. 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 any event outside of our reasonable control, including 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.

13. Other important terms

13.1. Entire Agreement. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between us and supersede all previous agreements, promises, assurances and representations (whether written or oral) relating to its subject matter.

13.2. No assignment by you. You may only assign your rights or your transfer your obligations under these Terms to another person if we agree in writing. We may assign our rights or transfer our obligations under these Terms to another party, but this will not affect your rights or our obligations under these Terms.

13.3. Third Parties. 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 the consent of a third party is not required to cancel or make any changes to these Terms.

13.4. Relationship. These Terms do not create any partnership, franchise, joint venture, agency, fiduciary or employment relationship between you and what3words.

13.5. Severability. If any provision of these Terms shall be found by any court or administrative body of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the other provisions of these Terms which shall remain in full force and effect.

13.6. No waiver. 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.

13.7. Conflicting Languages. If these Terms are translated into any other language, and there is a discrepancy between the English text and the translated text, the English text will govern.

13.8. Governing law and jurisdiction. Unless Clause 13.9 applies, these Terms, and any disputes arising from, in connection with, or relating to the interpretation of these Terms (including non-contractual disputes), shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English court.

13.9. 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.

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