It has been a little more than a week since the Super Bowl, and already our memories of the extravagant commercials are starting to fade—but do you remember the commercial for the new offering from Apple? With no fanfare and apparently assuming you hadn’t stepped away from your television to retrieve a snack, Apple introduced new vanity App Store URLs with this brief flash at the end of the commercial for the new Star Trek movie:


According to Apple, it hopes that these short links or “vanity URLs” for the domain will make it easier for both iOS and Mac app owners to promote their apps and to encourage downloads. Apple has already assigned new vanity URLs to many apps with unique names. To prevent conflicts, apps with more generic names, airhockey, for example, will be able to use a URL that connects to a search page of all apps related to that term (i.e. Apple has indicated that the URLs are provided as a convenience and are not guaranteed to link to a particular app or company.

To protect your brands, all app owners and trademark owners should check to see if links to your app. For name conflicts, Apple has indicated that search pages of apps will appear, much like when generic terms are used. If your company has more than one app, Apple has also allowed for company name URLs in the following form: We recommend confirming these as well.

In checking your vanity URL, please note that App Store vanity URLs cannot contain certain characters, namely,!¡"#$%'()*+,\-./:;<=>¿?@[\]^_`{|}~. Also, ampersands should be replaced with “and.” For example, if Dorsey & Whitney LLP had an app, its vanity URL would likely be More details on the vanity URL naming can be found here.

If your vanity URLs are not what you expect or if you would like characters to be removed or changed, Apple recommends filing a bug report via

Apple’s decision to assign these vanity URLs instead of allowing the public to register or apply for them may have staved off the type of “land grab” that has happened with the introduction of new domain name extensions and usernames on popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter. However, it remains to be seen if these App Store vanity URLs will create issues for trademark owners.

For now, it seems best to check your new URLs and submit bug reports if you see problems or want to change your assigned vanity URLs. As users become accustomed to the new vanity URL format, you will want it to be easy for them to find your apps. As we learned from the Super Bowl, blackouts may create a risk of killing your momentum. While you are checking the assigned URL for each of your apps, you may also want to consider whether you have protected the names of your key apps as trademarks or whether you need to file additional trademark applications to protect them.