This document outlines the policy and guidelines of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) for the trademarks and graphic logos we use to identify Apache® projects and any software developed and distributed by Apache projects. The Apache Software Foundation owns all Apache-related trademarks, service marks, and graphic logos.
The following information helps ensure our marks and logos are used in approved ways, while making it easy for the community to understand the guidelines. If you have any questions about the use of logos or trademarks that are not addressed in these guidelines, please contact us.
Apache Project Branding Guidelines (for PMCs)
Apache® trademarks, service marks, and graphics marks are symbols of the quality and community support that people have come to associate with projects of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). To ensure that the use of Apache marks will not lead to confusion about our software, we must control their use in association with software and related services by other companies. Also, as a US based corporation, we have a legal responsibility and the authority to set guidelines for the use of our marks.
The Apache Software Foundation and its software must be clearly distinguishable from any software that competes with ASF software, and from software or services by any company or individual that is not part of Apache Software Foundation.
Our marks must not be used to disparage the Apache Software Foundation, our projects, members, sponsors, or communities, nor be used in any way to imply ownership, endorsement, or sponsorship of any ASF-related project or initiative of any kind.
The VP, Apache Brand Management and associated Brand Management Committee is the formal body within the ASF responsible for setting policy and answering questions about the use of our logos and trademarks, along with other responsibilities. The Committee is made up of elected members of the ASF who have shown merit in the branding and trademarks areas. The current VP, Apache Brand Management is Shane Curcuru, as appointed by the Board of Directors.
This document is not intended to summarize the complex law of trademarks. It will be useful, however, to understand the following key principles:
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. Throughout this policy document, the terms "trademark" and "mark" refer to both trademarks and service marks.
These rules are generalized to describe ASF software associated with the trademark "Apache Foo", or more generally "Foo" when it is understood to refer to this specific Apache Foo software. Like most ASF software, this Foo software is maintained by the Apache Foo project, or by the Foo sub-project of another project, such as the "Apache Incubator" (itself an ASF trademark).
ASF's trademarks are either words (e.g., "Apache" and "Apache Foo" and "Foo") or graphic logos that are intended to serve as trademarks for that Apache software. The Apache feather is also an ASF trademark for Apache software which has special meaning for ASF and special rules regarding its use.
Within the ASF, during our product release activity and on ASF websites, we will make sure that our trademarks are marked with a (TM) or (R) symbol or shown with trademark notices where appropriate so that everyone will recognize them as ASF trademarks, and by providing a list of ASF trademarks.
What is nominative use?
Anyone can use ASF trademarks if that use of the trademark is nominative. The "nominative use" (or "nominative fair use") defense to trademark infringement is a legal doctrine that authorizes everyone (even commercial companies) to use another person's trademark as long as three requirements are met:
The product or service in question must be one not readily identifiable without use of the trademark; (for example, it is not easy to identify Apache Hadoop software without using the trademark "Hadoop")
Only so much of the mark or marks may be used as is reasonably necessary to identify the product or service; and
The organization using the mark must do nothing that would, in conjunction with the mark, suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder.
The trademark nominative fair use defense is intended to encourage people to refer to trademarked goods and services by using the trademark itself. This trademark defense has nothing to do with copyright fair use and should not be confused with those rules.
What is the "confusing similarity" or "likelihood of confusion" test?
Some uses of another person's trademark are nominative fair use, but some uses are simply infringing. Indeed, if a trademark is used in such a way that the relevant consuming public will likely be confused or mistaken about the source of a product or service sold or provided using the mark in question, then likelihood of confusion exists and the mark has been infringed.
Note that, even if there is no likelihood of confusion, you may still be liable for using another company's trademark if you are blurring or tarnishing their mark under the state and/or federal dilution laws.
To avoid infringing ASF's marks, you should verify that your use of our marks is nominative and that you are not likely to confuse software consumers that your software is the same as ASF's software or is endorsed by ASF. This policy is already summarized in section 6 of the Apache License , and so it is a condition for your use of Apache software:
This License does not grant permission to use the trade names, trademarks, service marks, or product names of the Licensor, except as required for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Work and reproducing the content of the NOTICE file.
The following Specific Guidelines apply to the "Apache" word trademark and the "Apache feather" graphic trademark, as well as the trademarks and graphic logos for typical "Apache Foo" and "Foo" software produced by each of the ASF's projects. You may refer to our list of most Apache marks.
Examples of permitted nominative fair use:
" Free copies of Foo software under the Apache License and support services for Foo are available at my own company website. "
" Derivative works of Foo software and support services for those derivative works are available under my own trademarks at my website. " Please remember that, under trademark law, you may not apply trademarks to your derivative works of Foo software that are confusingly similar to "Foo" or "Apache Foo" or the Foo graphic logo trademarks.
" Foo software is faster (or slower) than Myco software. "
" I recommend (or don't recommend) Foo software for your business. "
" This <here> is the graphic logo for Apache Foo software. "
Using Apache trademarks in book and article titles:
You may write about Apache Foo software, and use our trademarks in book or article titles. You needn't ask us for permission to refer to Foo, as in "Foo for Dummies", or "Explaining Foo", or "Foo Simplified", or "O'Reilly Guide to Foo", or even "Avoiding Foo".
We prefer that you refer to "Apache Foo" rather than simply "Foo" in the title if it fits, and we request that you clearly identify that "Apache", "Apache Foo", and "Foo" are trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation wherever you normally acknowledge important trademarks in your book or article.
For more details, please see our FAQ about Apache marks in publishing.
Using the Apache feather logo to identify ASF and link to www.apache.org :
The Apache feather logo is a special trademark to the members of the Apache Software Foundation and we intend to prevent its use in association with other companies' software or related services.
You needn't ask us for permission to use the Apache feather logo (the version published by us here ) on your own website solely as a hyperlink to www.apache.org, or in other materials, such as presentations and slides, solely as a means to refer to the ASF itself.
All other uses of the Apache feather logo must be approved in writing by the VP, Apache Brand Management or by a member of the Brand Management Committee.
Using the Apache Foo or similar project graphic logos:
Graphic logos are contributed to ASF by artists as a way of creating a symbol with which the Apache project software can be identified. Examples of logos are the Hadoop elephant, the SpamAssassin arrow, or even the graphic way that the word "Maven" is spelled with an orange letter "a". Those graphic logos are special to the Apache projects that mark their software and their project websites with those logos.
You needn't ask us for permission to use Apache's graphics logos (the versions published on individual project's websites) on your own website solely as a hyperlink to the specific Apache project website or to www.apache.org. All other uses of Apache Foo (and similar) graphic logos must be approved in writing by VP, Apache Brand Management, member of the Brand Management Committee, or the relevant Apache projects' VP.
Unlike ASF's word trademarks (such as "Apache" and "Foo"), our graphic logos are also licensed to the public under the Apache License. That license permits you to create derivative works of those logos, as with any other Apache copyrighted work. However, trademark law does not allow you to apply any "confusingly similar" derivative logo to software if a relevant consumer would likely be confused by that use of that derivative logo.
If you have any questions or concerns about the use of or changes to any ASF graphic trademark, please contact us
Using Apache trademarks on merchandise:
You must obtain prior written approval from the VP, Apache Brand Management or designee to apply the "Apache", "Apache Foo" or "Foo" trademarks or their graphic logos to any merchandise that is intended to be associated in people's minds with Apache Foo software or any Apache software.
Permission to apply ASF trademarks (including graphic logos) may be granted for merchandise that promotes the Apache Software Foundation, the Apache Foo project and Foo software.
Permission to apply ASF trademarks will ordinarily be denied for merchandise that disparages Apache software or projects or that would serve to detract from the value of Apache software and its brands.
The following uses of ASF trademarks are probably infringing:
Confusingly similar software product names.
Software service offerings that are for anything other than official ASF-distributed software.
Company names that may be associated in customer's minds with ASF or its trademarked project software.
You may not use ASF trademarks such as "Apache" or "ApacheFoo" or "Foo" in your own domain names if that use would be likely to confuse a relevant consumer about the source of software or services provided through your website, without written approval of the VP, Apache Brand Management or designee. You should apply the "likelihood of confusion" test described above, and please realize that the use of ASF trademarks in your domain names is generally not "nominative fair use."
For more details, please see our Domain Name Branding Policy.
Certain ASF trademarks are reserved exclusive for official Apache Software Foundation activities. For example, "ApacheCon" is our exclusive trademark for our regular ASF conferences, and the Apache feather is intended for ASF use at events in which we participate.
Individual ASF projects (such as "Apache Foo") often create their own conferences and events, or join with other organizations or companies to hold joint conferences or events. Any conflicting use of ASF trademarks (including trademarks related to our projects or products) in relation to conferences or events must be approved in writing from the VP, Apache Brand Management or designee.
For more details, please see our Event Branding Policy.
Nothing in this ASF policy statement shall be interpreted to allow any third party to claim any association with the Apache Software Foundation or any of its projects or to imply any approval or support by ASF for any third party products or services.
This is version 1.1 of this Apache policy document, published in 2014.
Significant changes will be marked with a new version number.
v1.1 Update to have permissions by VP, Brand or designee