Sublicense More Information

Trademark Attribution

This page describes how to publicly acknowledge that Linus Torvalds is the owner of the Linux trademark.

Attribution is For Everyone

Even if your use of the Linux trademark doesn't fall under the scope of the Linux Sublicense Agreement, you should still attribute ownership of the mark to Linus Torvalds in two ways:

  1. For each web page, advertisement, or publication, the first prominent appearance of LINUX should feature the "circle R" character adjacent to the X, as follows:
  2. At the end of your web page, advertisement, publication or media broadcast, include the following text in a legible font and size:
    Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.

Attribution for Sublicensees

The Linux Sublicense Agreement sets forth how the mark should be attributed by sublicensees. Sublicensees are required to place the following legend conspicuously on each piece of authorized goods, and at least once in the area of the title page of any documentation or sales literature accompanying each authorized good or service:

The registered trademark Linux® is used pursuant to a sublicense from LMI, the exclusive licensee of Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark on a world-wide basis.

Space Limitations

LMI understands that space limitations can make including these attributions difficult. When made necessary by space limitations, any reasonable facsimile of these attributions may be used. In case of doubt as to the proper shortened form, examples may be submitted to LMI for approval.

Forms of the Mark

Linux is a word-mark, meaning that any form of the word is covered by the trademark registration. This includes all-caps ("LINUX®") or the standard capitalized form ("Linux®"). Either form is acceptable to LMI so long as it is presented in a legible font.

Who Needs a Sublicense?

In cases of fair use, members of the public may use or refer to a registered trademark without a license from the owner.

Examples of Fair Use

If you are a journalist interested in writing articles that include the term Linux, you do not need a sublicense. If you are printing up pencils, stenciling T-shirts, or distributing coffee cups with a legend on them like "Linux® is the greatest!" or "Even my Mother uses Linux®!" this is normally considered fair use.

Some uses of Linux require the user to obtain a sublicense.

Examples of Use Requiring A Sublicense.

If you plan to market a Linux-based product or service to the public using a trademark that includes the element "Linux," such as "Super Dooper Linux" or "Real Time Linux Consultants" you are required to apply for and obtain a sublicense from LMI. This is true whether or not you apply to register your trademark with a government.

If in Doubt, Find Out

Many questions are answered in the FAQ. If you are unable to locate an answer to your question, please contact us at