This is a statement of The Linux Foundation’s trademarks and its policy and guidelines relating to use of trademarks owned by The Linux Foundation and used by projects under The Linux Foundation. Individual projects under The Linux Foundation may have additional guidelines and requirements for the use of trademarks intended to imply compliance with certain criteria or other requirements, and in such cases compliance with such criteria and requirements is necessary.
For purposes of this document, references to trademarks or marks include all trade and service marks and logos owned by The Linux Foundation legal entity. Projects operating as separately incorporated entities managed by The Linux Foundation have their own trademarks, policies and usage guidelines.
The “Linux®” Trademark
For information regarding the Linux trademark, owned by Linus Torvalds, please see the Linux Mark Institute (administered by The Linux Foundation). Your use of the Linux trademark must be in accordance with the Linux Mark Institute’s policy.
The Linux Foundation’s Trademarks
A list of The Linux Foundation’s registered trademarks, pending registrations and trademarks in use can be found at https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-list/.
The Linux Foundation Trademark Usage Guidelines
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 Linux 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 Linux Foundation to ensure that community members are able to discuss the projects with which The Linux Foundation is associated and to accurately describe the relationship between The Linux 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 mark of The Linux Foundation is provided for in this policy and in the statement of permitted use, if any, that may accompany the trademark notice displayed on the website dedicated to the 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 developing the licensed software or other materials. Because open source licenses permit unrestricted modification of the copyrighted software, and The Linux Foundation has no intention of interfering with that right, your right to use any specific trademark of The Linux Foundation 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.
Proper use of The Linux Foundation trademarks by following these trademark usage guidelines protects the value of The Linux Foundation trademarks. Any use of or reference to The Linux Foundation trademarks that is inconsistent with this trademark policy, or use of marks that are confusingly similar to trademarks of The Linux Foundation, is prohibited. All uses of The Linux Foundation trademarks, and all goodwill associated therewith, will inure solely to the benefit of The Linux 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 mark of The Linux Foundation, 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 mark of The Linux Foundation, 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 mark of The Linux Foundation 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 Linux 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 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 trademarks owned by The Linux Foundation.
- Use the full form of any trademarks (e.g., “The Linux Foundation”) in the first reference in all documents of mass communication, including marketing collateral and web pages. You may then use any abbreviated or short form references (e.g. “TLF”) within the same the document where the full form has already been used.
- Use The Linux Foundation’s trademarks in a form that distinguishes them from the text around them, such as by capitalization, bold or italic fonts, or with quotation marks. Any use of registered trademarks as indicated in The Linux Foundation’s Trademark List at https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-list/ should include the ® symbol immediately after the first usage (e.g., “The Linux Foundation® projects develop open source….”). Any use of unregistered trademarks as listed in the Trademark List should include a TM immediately after the first usage (e.g., “The Core Infrastructure Initiative TM community seeks to secure….”)
- Do not use The Linux Foundation trademarks in a manner that would disparage The Linux Foundation or its projects (e.g., untruthful advertising, false/misleading promotional materials, etc.).
- Do not use a The Linux Foundation logo on the cover of a book or magazine without written permission from The Linux Foundation.
- Do not use The Linux Foundation trademarks more prominently than your own company, product or service name.
- Do not use a logo of The Linux Foundation on posters, brochures, signs, websites, or other marketing materials to promote your events, products or services without written permission from The Linux Foundation.
- Do not refer to a product or service as being certified under any of The Linux Foundation’s marks unless your company has successfully undergone the requisite compliance testing and has explicit authorization to use such terms from The Linux Foundation.
- Do not attempt to claim or assert any ownership rights in any mark of The Linux Foundation and do not attempt to register any The Linux Foundation trademark as a trademark, trade name, domain name, or “doing business as” name, alone or (unless specifically licensed) in combination with your own trademarks.
The Linux Foundation marks have been created and their use is expressly permitted for a specific purpose. Do not use logos or names of The Linux Foundation in any commercial or marketing context other than as expressly permitted in this policy unless you have obtained explicit written permission from The Linux Foundation to do so. The Linux Foundation permits the use of its trademarks for private and personal use to make t-shirts, stickers, and 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 trademark or logo of The Linux Foundation as a link to the home page of the applicable project or to a web page on The Linux Foundation web site that is relevant to the reference so long as 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 logo of The Linux Foundation shall be done using the official versions of The Linux Foundation logos obtained from The Linux Foundation or its projects.
Here are examples of correct and incorrect uses of a logo of The Linux Foundation (noting that any actual use must also comply with the other requirements described herein):