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From Shane Curcuru <>
Subject Re: Trademark registration
Date Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:11:20 GMT
Legally the ASF could register the trademarks for podlings, once we have
the source code in our repo, but as a public charity it's not
appropriate for us to do so given the cost and fact that a podling may
fail to graduate[1].

Some podlings coming from companies have existing registrations, which
the donor must formally transfer to the ASF before graduation; we will
then maintain the registrations ourselves for that TLP.

Trademark rights in the US and some countries come from use in commerce:
publicly using the name or logo in association with software for
download means you can use ™ on the trademark and claim it.  Registering
gives you other abilities, but is not required.

We have a comprehensive list of trademark resources, many of which are
useful for any FOSS project:

In particular see "How To: Request Registration of Your Project Name".

- Shane

[1] This is an issue of both cost and trademark ownership.  Registered
trademarks are legal assets; as a US non-profit 501C3 organization we
can't really give assets like that away except to another 501C3 in most
cases.  For unregistered trademarks it doesn't much matter; if a podling
fails to graduate we don't keep any claim over the trademark.

Greg Stein wrote on 11/30/16 5:14 AM:
> Podlings are not part of the Foundation (yet), so cannot get trademark
> registrations.
> The Trademark/Brand peeps will assist with looking at the future
> possibility, post-graduation.
> On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 4:00 AM, Stian Soiland-Reyes <>
> wrote:
>> On 30 November 2016 at 09:51, Ian Dunlop <> wrote:
>>> I saw the following on trademark registrations
>>> and wondered if
>>> this was possible for incubator projects or only for those which have
>>> graduated. Any ideas?
>> I think it makes most sense for graduated projects; a podling project
>> is not guaranteed to graduate from the Incubator and might choose to
>> say move to a GitHub-only model.  This could then require a project
>> rename beyond removing "Apache", as ASF would have the trademark
>> registration and there might not be a new legal entity to move the
>> trademark to.
>> But that said, I don't think there's anything stopping such a
>> registration for podlings - not sure if policy-wise that would need to
>> include "(incubating)", which perhaps would look odd in a trademark.
>> --
>> Stian Soiland-Reyes
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