Linux Foundation Trademark Usage Guidelines

This is a statement of the Linux Foundation’s policy and guidelines relating to use of trademarks owned by the Foundation.  For information regarding the Linux Mark Institute and marks owned by Linus Torvalds, please see the Linux Mark Institute (administered by the Linux Foundation.) Your use of any Foundation trademark must be in accordance with this policy. 


Linux Foundation “trademarks” include: 


Linux Foundation


Linux Standard Base


LSB Certified



MeeGo logo

Software Packet Data Exchange




Yocto Project

For purposes of this policy, references to trademarks or marks include all trade and service marks and logos owned by the Linux Foundation.

Trademarks are used to provide assurance to the community of consistency with respect to the quality of products or services with which the mark is associated.  This policy attempts to strike the proper balance between two competing interests:  1) the need of the Foundation to ensure that its trademarks remain reliable indicators of the qualities that they have been created to preserve and 2) the need of the Foundation to ensure that community members are able to discuss the projects and workgroups with which the Foundation is associated and to accurately describe the relationship between the Foundation and the products and services offered by others.

A trademark provides the owner with an exclusive right to authorize or control the use of the mark.  Your right to use a Foundation mark is provided for in this policy and in the statement of permitted use that accompanies the trademark notice displayed on the website dedicated to the workgroup or project.  A copyright license, even an open source copyright license, does not include an implied right or license to use a trademark that may be related to the project or workgroup developing the licensed software or other materials.  Because open source licenses permit unrestricted modification of the copyrighted software, and the Foundation has no intention of interfering with that right, your right to use the Foundation trademarks is not determined by your use of software made available under an open source license.  Your right to use a mark is conditioned upon conforming to other requirements that are directly related to the qualities that the specific mark has been created to preserve.  These are the requirements that are included with the trademark notice in a statement of permitted use displayed on the website dedicated to the workgroup or project.

Proper use of Foundation trademarks by following these trademark usage guidelines protects the value of Foundation trademarks.  Any use of or reference to Foundation trademarks that is inconsistent with this Foundation trademark policy, or use of marks that are confusingly similar to Foundation trademarks, is prohibited.  All uses of the Foundation trademarks, and all goodwill associated therewith, will inure solely to the benefit of the Foundation.

Rules that Apply to Trademarks In General

There are some basic rules that apply to any use of any trade or service mark that you do not own, including any Foundation mark, without the express permission of the owner. 

·       A trademark should never be used as a verb or noun.  A trademark should be used only as an adjective followed by the generic name/noun.

·       A trademark should not be used in the plural or possessive form.

·       A trademark should not be altered or amended in any way.  A mark should not be combined with any other mark, hyphenated, abbreviated or displayed in parts.  A trademark that is depicted as two or more words should not be compressed into one word. A logo should not be displayed with color variations, or with other elements superimposed on top of the logo.

·       A trademark should not be used as your domain name or as part of your domain name.

·       A trademark should not be used as part of your product name.

·       A trademark should not be incorporated into your company's logos or designs.

·       A trademark notice should be used on the most prominent and/or first appearance of each Foundation mark, and a trademark notice should not be changed.  In particular, a ™ should not be changed to an ® in a trademark notice by anyone other than the owner.  If you are unsure about whether a Foundation mark is registered in your country, please contact us for additional guidance as to what trademark symbol you should use.


There are also some basic rights that everyone has to use any trademark, which are often referred to as “fair use,” and the Foundation does not intend to restrict those rights.  You may make fair use of word marks to make true factual statements.  But fair use does not permit you to state or imply that the owner of a mark produces, endorses, or supports your company, products, or services.  Even when making fair use of a trademark, you should acknowledge the owner of the trademark with a trademark notice, such as the notice displayed on the Linux Foundation workgroup or project websites.

Rules and Policies Applicable to Marks Owned by the Linux Foundation

In addition to the generally applicable rules discussed above, there are a few specific rules that we ask everyone to follow when using Linux Foundation owned trademarks.

·       Use “Linux Foundation” in the first reference to the organization in all documents of mass communication, including marketing collateral and web pages.  Use “LF” only where there is another clear reference to “Linux Foundation” on the document.

·       Use Foundation trademarks in a form that distinguishes them from the text around them, such as by capitalization, bold or italic fonts, or with quotation marks.

·       Do not use Foundation trademarks in a manner that would disparage the Foundation or its workgroups (e.g., untruthful advertising, false/misleading promotional materials, etc.).

·       Do not use Foundation trademarks more prominently than your own company, product or service name.

·       Do not use a Foundation logo on the cover of a book or magazine without written permission from Foundation.

·       Do not use a Foundation logo on posters, brochures, signs, websites, or other marketing materials to promote your events, products or services without written permission from Foundation.

·       Do not refer to a product or service as being certified under any of the Foundation’s marks unless your company has successfully undergone the requisite compliance testing suites and has explicit authorization to use such terms by the Foundation.

·       Do not attempt to claim or assert any ownership rights in any Foundation mark and do not attempt to register any Foundation trademark as a trademark, trade name, domain name, or “doing business as” name, alone or in combination with your own trademarks.

The Foundation marks have been created and their use is expressly permitted for a specific purpose.  Do not use Foundation logos or names in any commercial or marketing context other than as expressly permitted in this policy unless you have obtained explicit written permission from the Foundation to do so.  The Foundation permits the use of its marks for private and personal use to make t-shirts, wallpapers, caps for yourself and your friends (meaning people from whom you don’t receive anything of value in return) in a manner that is consistent with the preservation of the goodwill and value of the mark.

You are also allowed to use a Foundation mark or logo as a link to the home page of the applicable workgroup or to a web page on the Foundation web site that is relevant to the reference, again, if the link is in a manner that is consistent with the preservation of the goodwill and value of the mark.  The link and all other usage of a Foundation logo shall be done using the official versions of the Foundation logos obtained from the links provided above.

With respect to the use of Foundation trademarks in a publication, you may use a Foundation mark on the cover and/or title of a publication provided that you do not use the mark in a manner that suggests that the Foundation is affiliated with or is sponsoring or endorsing the publication and that you include an appropriate disclaimer on the publication and on all related printed materials, such as: “(Title) is an independent (publication) and is not affiliated with, authorized by, sponsored by, or otherwise approved by the Linux Foundation.”

Certain Foundation marks have been created to enable you to communicate compatibility or interoperability of software or products.  In addition to the requirement that any use of a mark to make an assertion of compatibility must, of course, be accurate, the use of these marks must avoid confusion regarding the Foundation’s association with the product.  The use of the mark cannot imply that the Foundation is sponsoring or endorsing the product.  The following are examples of proper and improper usage of these Foundation trademarks:

Correct: <your product name> for <Foundation mark>

Correct: <your product name> plug-in for <Foundation mark>

Correct: <your product name> compatible with <Foundation mark>

Correct: <your product name> for use with <Foundation mark>

Incorrect: <Foundation mark> <your product name>

Incorrect: <Foundation mark>-<your product name>

Questions, Comments, Concerns

We look to our community to help us retain the value of the Foundation’s marks.  If you have questions with respect to these guidelines or to report concerns regarding the use or misuse of a Foundation trademark, or to obtain written permission for a proposed use of the Foundation trademarks, contact:


The Foundation does not make any express or implied warranties, including but not limited to the warranties of non-infringement of any third party intellectual property rights.  The Foundation does not warrant that any pending trademark applications for Foundation trademarks will result in any granted trademark protection.  The Foundation shall not be liable for any claims relating to user’s activities falling within the scope of the permission and user hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold the Foundation and its contributors harmless against any such claims.


Foundation may release new versions of this Foundation trademark policy or statements of permitted use of Foundation marks from time to time without notice.


This work is inspired by the Mozilla Foundation Trademark Policy and the GNOME Trademark Licensing. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.