Trademark FAQ

Please note that a FAQ is not an official policy document, but rather an informal effort to give readers useful and understandable information.

What is a trademark?

 

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, “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. ”

 

Is the Joomla! name trademarked?

 

Yes, the name is trademarked by Open Source Matters.

 

Is the Joomla! logo trademarked?

 

Yes, the logo is trademarked by Open Source Matters.

 

Why aren't the logo and name covered by the GPL?

 

The GPL is a license that defines the terms of use for the Joomla! code. A license does not serve the same function as a copyright or trademark and the GPL itself is designed for software not for logos or names.

 

If Joomla! is free and open source, why does it need to protect its trademarks?

 

Trademarks protect the work of the project and the individuals contributing to it by preventing the exploitation of the good name of Joomla! by other people or organizations. The trademark also prevents confusion of other organizations or companies with Joomla! or Open Source Matters.

The name and logo are very different than the Joomla! codebase, which is freely available for you to inspect, modify and redistribute under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

 

Would copyright protect the Joomla! name?

No. Copyright is used for literary or creative works (including code) but is never used to protect names.

 

Could I take the Joomla! code base, give it a totally new name and logo, and distribute it?

Yes, so long as you abide by the terms of the GNU GPL and if the new name and logo do not violate the trademarks.

 

If I have a product name with the word Joomla! in it, what should I do?

First, make a name use request using the form, providing all of the requested information,.

We would prefer that names of extensions be of the form xxx for Joomla! Rather than Joomla! Xxx, but we recognize that existing products with various names incorporating Joomla! are well established.

Second, make sure that you make it clear on your website and elsewhere that the product is independent of the Joomla! Project, joomla.org and Open Source Matters.

 

If I have a domain name with the word Joomla! in it, what should I do?

 

First, review the domain name use policy.

Second, register your use using the form on the Open Source Matters website.

Third, make it clear on your website and elsewhere that you have no official connection with Open Source Matters, the Joomla! project or joomla.org. When your use is approved you will receive specific text for use as a disclaimer.

 

Can I transliterate "Joomla!"?

In no case should the word Joomla!™ be transliterated using the local language glyphs or alphabet. A Joomla! logo may never use Joomla! transliterated. However, in text you may make a pronunciation guide for users of the local language. On websites where the primary language does not use Latin characters, in the text of content items that use Joomla! descriptively, transliteration may be used, but this must be accompanied by a disclaimer acknowledging Open Source Matters as the trademark holder and with the correct form of the name. Typically this would be in the footer of a site.

Do I have to put the trademark symbol everytime I write the word "Joomla!"?

No, you only need to do so in the first prominent use. On a site built with the Joomla! CMS or other dynamic system that would usually mean first use in a content item (in either body or title), use in display of another component, and use in a header.

Why can't sites or products that violate Joomla!'s license use the trademarks?

There are a number of interrelated reasons for this.

1. Joomla! is an open source product and specifically a GNU GPL product. It hurts the reputation of the Joomla! brand as an open source brand to be associated with proprietary products. It creates confusing messages about the nature of the Joomla! CMS.

2. Licensing a use implies endorsement of that use. We do not endorse violations of the license of the software that the copyright holders have so generously shared with us. Therefore no license will be issued for a domain name, product name, logo use or other use that associates the project with violations of the rights of the copyright holders of the Joomla! software. People and firms who wish to violate those rights should use names that do not associate themselves with the Joomla! project in any way. They can, of course, use Joomla! descriptively in the text on their sites because that is not something that needs to be licensed.

3. Because the JED is a listing of extensions and not firms, compliance is judged on an extension by extension basis. This is to encourage developers to test the GNU GPL in a limited way, since everyone understands that some of them are nervous about the implications of GNU GPL licensing. In all other situations, the determination is made on a site by site or firm by firm basis.

Where can I learn more about trademarks?

The best source of information on trademarks is the US Trademarks and Patents Office. In addition there are many web sources with information on trademark law.