Community-led development "The Apache Way"
This document outlines the policy for allowable uses of Apache® Software Foundation trademarks by other parties.
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) owns all ASF-related trademarks, service marks, and graphic logos on behalf of our project communities, and the names of all ASF projects are trademarks of the ASF.
The following information helps ensure our marks and logos are used in approved ways by other parties, so we can legally protect our project brands and encourage third parties to use ASF software and our brands in approved ways. Contact us with any questions about this policy or about ASF trademarks, and read our list of trademark resources.
ASF trademarks, service marks, and graphics marks are symbols of the quality and community support that people have come to associate with projects of the ASF. To ensure that the use of ASF marks does not lead to confusion about our software, we must control their use in association with software and related services by other organizations. Also, as a US based corporation, we have a legal responsibility and the authority to set policy for the use of our marks.
The Apache Software Foundation and our many software products 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 the ASF.
Apache Software Foundation trademarks must not be used to disparage the ASF, 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. We are a vendor-neutral organization, and an important part of our brand is that ASF projects are governed independently.
This section is not intended to summarize the complex law of trademarks. However, it may help you understand some key principles. More information is on our trademark resources listing.
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 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 ProjectName", or more generally "ProjectName" when it is understood to refer to our specific Apache ProjectName software product. Like most ASF software, this ProjectName software is maintained by the Apache ProjectName project, or by the ProjectName 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 ProjectName" and "ProjectName") or graphic logos that are intended to serve as trademarks for that ASF software. The ASF 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 make sure that our trademarks are marked with a (TM) or (R) symbol or shown with trademark notices where appropriate so that everyone can recognize them as ASF trademarks. We provide a list of ASF trademarks, and a detailed guide on how to refer to ASF brands.
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 the use meets three requirements:
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.
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 someone uses a trademark in a way that the relevant consuming public will likely be confused or mistaken about the source of a product or service sold or provided, 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 ASF 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 Policies apply to the "Apache" word trademark and the "ASF feather" graphic trademark, as well as the trademarks and graphic logos for all "Apache ProjectName" and "ProjectName" software produced by each of the ASF's projects. You may refer to our list of ASF marks.
Examples of permitted nominative fair use:
"Free copies of Apache ProjectName software under the Apache License and support services for Apache ProjectName are available at my own company website."
"Derivative works of Apache ProjectName software and support services for those derivative works are available under my own trademarks at my website." Remember that, under trademark law, you may not apply trademarks to your derivative works of ProjectName software that are confusingly similar to "ProjectName" or "Apache ProjectName" or the ProjectName graphic logo trademarks.
"ProjectName software is faster (or slower) than Myco software."
"I recommend (or don't recommend) ProjectName software for your business."
"This <here> is the graphic logo for Apache ProjectName software."
The ASF prefers you use the full Apache ProjectName name for all our projects.
In general you may not use ASF trademarks in any software product branding. However in very specific situations you may use the Powered By naming form for software products.
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 (ProjectName), 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 ASF marks in publishing.
Using the ASF feather logo to identify the ASF and link to www.apache.org :
The ASF feather logo is a special trademark for 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 ASF feather logo (the version published by us here ) on your own website solely as a hyperlink to www.apache.org or to an appropriate ASF project, or in other materials, such as presentations and slides, solely as a means to refer to the ASF itself.
The VP, Brand Management or a member of the Brand Management Committee must approve in writing all other uses of the ASF feather logo.
Using the Apache Foo or similar project graphic logos:
Artists contribute graphic logos to ASF as a way to create a symbol to identify the ASF project's software. 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 ASF projects that use them to mark their software and their project websites.
You needn't ask us for permission to use the ASF's graphics logos (the versions published on individual project's websites) on your own website solely as a hyperlink to the specific ASF project website or to www.apache.org. The VP, Brand Management, a member of the Brand Management Committee, or the relevant Apache project's VP must approve in writing all other uses of Apache Foo (and similar) graphic logos.
Unlike ASF's word trademarks (such as "Apache" and "Foo"), our graphic logos are licensed to the public under the Apache License. That license permits you to create derivative works of those logos, as with any other ASF 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 your use of that derivative logo.
If you have any questions or concerns about the use of or changes to any ASF graphic trademark, contact us
Using ASF trademarks on merchandise:
You must obtain prior written approval from the VP, 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 ASF software.
The ASF may grant permission to apply ASF trademarks (including graphic logos) for merchandise that promotes the Apache Software Foundation, the Apache Foo project or Foo software.
Permission to apply ASF trademarks will ordinarily be denied for merchandise that disparages ASF software or projects or that would serve to detract from the value of ASF 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, 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 and to request approvals, please see our Domain Name Branding Policy. In particular, using ASF product names as second level domain names (example.com) is not allowed.
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 ASF 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, Brand Management or designee.
For more details and to request approvals, please see our Event Branding Policy. Please request approvals well in advance to avoid ApacheCon blackout dates.
The VP, 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, Brand Management is Mark Thomas, as appointed by the President to serve in this position. See a list of committee members and how to contact us.
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 1.2 of this ASF policy document, published in March 2021. We will mark significant changes with a new version number.
v1.1 Update to have permissions by VP, Brand Management or designee
v1.2 Update to use ASF to refer to the Apache Software Foundation