Community-led development "The Apache Way"
This Apache® Project Website Branding Policy defines how Apache projects must refer to trademarks and requires a few specific elements on websites. The site map of trademark resources is also helpful.
This document defines the branding and trademark policies for how Apache® projects are required to display certain elements on their websites, and to treat all trademarks - Apache's and those of other organizations - appropriately. The PMC Branding Responsibilities also explains how PMC members must manage their project's brands in other ways.
Apache projects must host official website content on an
apache.org domain. This includes content overseen by the
project's PMC (including the top level website, downloads, and wikis),
and ensures that the ASF infrastructure team can maintain the
services while informing users that the content is official
and comes from the ASF and the project's PMC, and not from a third party.
The homepage for any ProjectName must be served from
http[s]://ProjectName.apache.org, both to ensure consistent branding
and to allow for automatically generated links (like
primary links to the project as a whole must point directly to the
homepage, and not to alternative sites or domains.
Projects are free to use any infrastructure supported technology to manage and deploy their websites, and are free to use any look and feel in its design. In the future, we may ask projects to add a specific style or graphical element (from a choice of several variants) for their link back to www.apache.org that will help give users a better sense of the connection between all Apache projects.
New communities joining the Apache Incubator who have a long open source development history with a large userbase should read about limitations on using non-apache.org domains.
Guidelines for choosing names of new projects exist, but haven't yet been reviewed and merged into this policy document.
The primary branding for any project or product name must be in the form of "Apache Projectname". This ensures that the project or product is associated with the ASF as a whole in the minds of users, and ensures that third parties cannot as easily misuse our project names. The first and most prominent references to a project or product on every page, and uses in page titles or headers, must use the "Apache Projectname" form of its name. Other references may use either "Apache Projectname" or "Projectname" as appropriate for the subject matter.
Every product homepage and any overview download page for the product must include a prominent reference to the product as "Apache Foo software", and must include a brief one-sentence description of the purpose and function of the software product itself. For example:
The Apache Xerces XML parsing library software provides a complete implementation of the XML 1.0 parsing specification, and is easily configurable and compliant with current standards.
This description is useful for new readers to your page, and helps the ASF to maintain an overall list of trademarks for our software products. A trademark is only important when associated with a specific kind of goods: in our case with the actual downloadable software products that the ASF and our PMCs provide.
Note that it's helpful to share the proposed sample description with trademarks@, to ensure it's a proper trademark goods description. For example, in the past Apache Tomcat's website said it was an "implementation" and a "collaboration", not a product with functionality. Apache SpamAssassin's website described itself as a "project" and a "version" and otherwise referred to the software as "it". Neither of these contained a proper trademark goods description (i.e. computer software that performs a function). While this trademark description style may sometimes seem clumsy in technical documentation, it is a critical way that we can enforce our trademarks. It only needs to be done in one prominent place on the website for each project.
Always present the project and product names in a consistent casing and as an adjective, and never as a noun or verb, which is how any trademark should be used. This is important to do on your project homepage and on the download page; at other places on the website or in technical product documentation it's not required.
We consider the names of all projects, subprojects, and products to be trademarks of the ASF. While not all bare product names (i.e. just "Foo") may be exclusive trademarks of the ASF, all names in the form of "Apache Foo" should be exclusive to the ASF.
Terminology: a project or subproject is a community and any associated products that are managed by a PMC; the same brand guidelines apply to both. A product is a specific, downloadable software product that our users might want to use in some way. There are a few specific requirements for product branding. Note that most projects and subprojects release a product with the same name (i.e. the Apache Foo project releases a software product called Apache Foo).
Whatever main navigation system your project website uses, it must feature
certain text links back to key pages on the main
www.apache.org website. These
links can appear in whatever main navigation system your site uses on
all top level pages for the project or subproject.
"License" should link to:
"Sponsorship" or "Donate" should link to:
"Thanks" should link to:
"Security" should link to either to a project-specific page detailing how users may securely report potential vulnerabilities, or to the main www.apache.org/security/ page
All projects must feature some prominent link back to the main ASF
may either be a featured link in your main navigation system or a
text link in your Main homepage text. A best practice is to include a short
sentence or paragraph on the homepage noting that this project is an Apache
project, and is part of a larger community of developers and users.
If you have suggestions for the texts for links pointing back to the main ASF pages that better fit with your project's web presence, please let trademarks@ know.
Including "Thanks" links to third parties - if your project typically has companies that donate software licenses or support to project committers, please follow the Corporate Recognition Guidelines. It is important to ensure any such pages are presented publicly in a manner that is distinctly different from material related to the formal Sponsorship program.
Projects are free to use http, https or protocol relative links for the mandatory links required by the website navigation links policy.
It is recommended (but not required) that projects:
Use https for links where the target automatically switches to https when http is used
Use protocol relative links for all other targets
Apache Foo, Foo, Apache, the Apache feather logo, and the Apache Foo project logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation in the United States and other countries.
This may appear in page footers or in any other appropriate location.
At the top of each project or product homepage, and on the top banner of each page where the project name appears, you should include the appropriate ™ or ® symbol next to the first main occurrence of the "Apache Foo" project name, both in header/title text and at the name's first appearance in running text. This highlights our trademark claim and emphasizes its importance to us.
Proper attribution must be given to any other organization's trademarks that are referred to on our websites. All non-ASF trademarks must be attributed to their owners when displayed on ASF project websites. This may be done specifically, for each referred mark, or generically, and is typically done in the footer of a webpage. For a specific example:
FooBar and the FooBar logo are trademarks of Yoyodyne, Inc.
To provide a generic trademark attribution (to cover cases where a large number of marks are used, or in case we're not sure which words are other organizations' marks), you can add instead:
All other marks mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Logos are important to recognize as trademarks as well. For the project's official logo (if it has one, and especially if it uses the ASF feather), ensure that it includes a small "TM" symbol in the graphic or immediately adjacent to it. For pages that include the project logo on them, ensure you mention "... and the Project logo are trademarks..." in the attribution.
Projects may choose to use the Apache feather in their logo if they wish. For details on the proper Apache visual identity and feather graphics, please work with press@.
Projects are encouraged to create a variation of their main logo as a "Powered By..." or " Project Inside" logo. This logo may be used by third parties to denote that they build products or services using the associated product. While we must ensure that the main product logo is associated with the actual product that the Apache project provides, we allow third parties to more broadly use "Powered by..." logos in conjunction with their own products.
Powered By Apache logos are available for all projects to use (or request updates to).
All projects must provide a DOAP - Description Of A Project - file or entry for both the project itself and all product releases that they make - OR otherwise provide structured data such that the projects.apache.org website can find it. Follow the guidelines at to make a DOAP file and register it. This will allow the ASF to best showcase all of its projects and products in a variety of ways.
Update Apache Trademark Lists, briefly describing each software product. In the future, we hope to generate this list from DOAP files of all products.
If your project has subprojects that are software language specific, be sure to name them appropriately. For example, "Apache Xerces Perl" is not appropriate, since it improperly uses the trademark "Perl". A better project name would be "Apache Xerces for Perl". For example, the ASF could allow a third party named FooBar to ship a software product called "FooBar Software for Apache Xerces" or "BarFoo Services for Apache Xerces". The ASF would not allow "FooBar Xerces" or "BarFoo Xerces" forms of a name to be used by FooBar, since Xerces is our trademark. The same applies to the use of the word "Perl" (which is a trademark of The Perl Foundation ).
Registered Trademarks If a PMC would like to request legal registration of their project's trademarks, please registering their marks, please follow the REGREQUEST instructions.
To ensure consistent branding and assure users that content is official and from the ASF and our PMCs, all existing projects must host all content managed by the PMC on the ProjectName.apache.org domain.
IMPORTANT: Projects may not use domain names owned by third parties to host official project content. The content must be migrated, or the domain registration must be transferred to the ASF.
If a new community coming to the Apache Incubator has a long history of using an existing domain name, and has a significant userbase, then the podling may request to keep these names for limited uses once the podling graduates to TLP.
Steps for podlings with non-apache.org domains
During Incubation, the PPMC must work with Apache Infrastructure
to formally transfer any needed domain name registrations to the ASF.
As a non-profit, the ASF expects that these will be donated.
Create an INFRA Jira ticket to officially request that the ASF take over the donated domain name ownership.
The PPMC should send their plan of how they intend to use their non-apache.org domains to Brand Management/trademarks@ for approval.
During Incubation, the PPMC must transition all development-oriented information as well as the primary project homepage to the official ProjectName.apache.org homepage. This is required before a project may graduate.
Factors to consider for use of non-apache.org domains
The primary development homepage, which includes all the common things that a potential contributor would need to find out about before deciding whether to join the project, must be hosted at ProjectName.apache.org.
Major links promoting the project to likely contributors should always point to ProjectName.apache.org resources directly, and not to non-apache.org domains.
In most cases, non-apache.org domains should simply redirect to some place within ProjectName.apache.org/path domain, unless the podling has each of these really good reasons to use a non-apache.org domain:
-- The domain was very well-known by the user and contributor communities long before the project came to the ASF.
-- The domain is only used to provide end user level information.
-- The domain is Apache branded in appearance just like a.o sites are, and offers clear and prominent links directly to project.a.o/path for all likely contributor topics, like downloads, API docs, mailing lists, etc. etc.
Examples of non-apache.org domain approvals
These are exceptions, and are not the case for the majority of new projects:
openoffice.org is a user-facing portal with a huge history and millions of users on it. Continuing that as a user portal is important to serve the existing non-technical users.
groovy-lang.org is long-running user facing portal. This domain is still used as an end-user portal with information about the Groovy language itself. Developer information (for contributors to the Groovy codebase itself), discussions, and downloads are all on the expected groovy.apache.org website.
All Apache top level projects should be fully compliant with these guidelines. Any projects which are not compliant must work with trademarks@ to ensure that they become compliant. All Incubator podlings must either comply with all requirements before graduation, or have a specific and short-term action plan to complete compliance in short order after graduation (in case there are technical issues with website updates, etc.).
Contact trademarks@ directly with branding questions - there is no longer any need to include this in your board reports.
Project Branding Report Checklist - Project Website Basics : homepage is project.apache.org
Project Naming And Descriptions : use proper Apache forms, describe product, etc.
Website Navigation Links : navbar links included, link to www.apache.org included
Trademark Attributions : attribution for all ASF marks included in footers, etc.
Logos and Graphics : include TM, use consistent product logo on your site
Project Metadata : DOAP file checked in and up to date
This policy helps to promote and improve the image of all
projects that are part of the ASF, and shows that all
Apache® projects are part of the "community of
developers and users" that we believe is an important factor in our
success. While each of our projects manages their own affairs within the
broad guidelines of the Apache Way, a consistent public branding and web
presence that ties all of our projects together with the well-known
www.apache.org homepage benefits all of us by ensuring that
end users and future contributors know how to find official project resources.
Similarly, displaying Apache names and logos properly on our project pages helps to maintain our legal rights to the trademarks they embody. Using the appropriate ™ and ® symbols, and using trademarks properly to refer to our actual software products, are key ways that we tell the world (and lawyers) that these trademarks are valuable to us.
Questions? Apache committers with questions can contact the Trademarks Committee. The formal Trademark Policy explains how other organizations should refer to Apache project trademarks and logos. A list of ASF trademarks and guidelines for reporting potential misuses of trademarks are also available.
Incubator Podlings in the Apache Incubator have their own detailed Podling branding guidelines. Direct questions about these guidelines to the general@incubator list. Podlings must comply with all Project Branding Requirements before graduation to a top level project.
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 document is aimed at the ASF's internal community and the PMCs that manage our projects, and does not override or replace our formal Trademark Policy. If you have a question that is not specifically answered here or that you'd like further clarification on, please contact us. Further resources about trademark law and policy are also available.