Welcome to the Model Trademark Guidelines, written by and for free and open source software communities. This site proposes language one might use for trademark guidelines for FLOSS software projects. It describes various provisions that might be included in trademark guidelines and discusses the legal considerations for the provisions. It is not intended to advocate for any particular set of permissions or restrictions, but rather is designed to provide a range of choices that would be found lawful and enforceable under trademark law, that are consistent with FLOSS culture, and that respect the trademark owner’s desire to ensure that the software distributed under the trademark delivers a consistent user experience and meets the brand promise of the name.
I was inspired when I worked at Red Hat as its inside trademark counsel and saw many sites that didn’t have guidelines, and those that did had differing opinions on what should be permitted and what shouldn’t be. I thought it would be beneficial to create some common understanding on the community level, in the way that people have common understandings about what you can do with software if has a GPL license, Mozilla license, etc., which makes life easier for everyone using the licenses. I’ve since left Red Hat and now have a private practice, although I am still actively involved in the open source community.
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