These Apache™ Project Branding Requirements define how Apache projects should refer to tradmarks and display their brand.
Project Branding Overview
This document defines the brand and trademark management requirements for Apache Software Foundation (ASF) projects. This includes all Top Level Projects (TLP), each of which is managed by a Project Management Committee (PMC). It also includes requirements and other best practices for how subprojects, products (i.e. software releases), and other parts of the ASF's web presence should be presented to the public. All PMC members should also read the PMC Branding Responsibility for an overall view of how PMCs must manage their own brands.
These requirements are meant to promote and improve the image of all
projects that are part of the ASF, as well as to show that all
Apache™ projects are part of "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 and with the main
http://www.apache.org homepage benefits all of us.
Questions? PMC members or committers who have any questions about ASF trademarks - either used here or at third party sites - should email the trademarks@ list. Other organizations and individuals looking for guidelines of how to use or refer to the ASF's trademarks or logos should see our formal Trademark Policy. A list of ASF trademarks is also available.
Incubator Podlings Please note that Podlings within the Apache Incubator have their own detailed Podling branding guidelines , and Podling-specific questions should be addressed to the Incubator PMC general@incubator list.
Use of Apache Marks at Events For details of the use of Apache marks in relation to events or conferences, please see our Third Party Event Branding Policy.
Project Website Basics
Apache projects must host all official website content on an
domain. This includes all content overseen by the project's PMC (including
top level website, downloads, wikis, etc.), and ensures both that the ASF
infrastructure team can maintain the services, as well informing any users
that the content comes from the ASF or the project's PMC, and not a third
The homepage for any TLP must be served from
http://*project*.apache.org, both to ensure consistent branding and to
allow for automatically generated links (like the
http://projects.apache.org site may do). All
primary links to the project as a whole must point directly to the
homepage, and not to alternate sites or domains.
Projects are free to use any infrastructure supported technology for managing and deploying their websites, and are free to use any look and feel in their designs. In the future, we expect to 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.
Project Naming And Descriptions
Guidelines for naming 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 Foo". This ensures that the project or product is associated with the ASF and the project in the minds of our users. The first and most prominent reference to a project or product on each page must use the "Apache Foo" form of its name. Other references may use either "Apache Foo" or "Foo" as appropriate for the subject matter.
Every product homepage and any overview download pages for the product must include a prominent reference to the product as "Apache Foo", and must include a brief one sentence description of the function of the product. For example:
The Apache Xerces XML parsing library is easily configurable and compliant with current standards
This description is both useful for new readers to your page, and is important for the ASF to maintain an overall list of trademarks for our software products. A trademark is only important when associated with a specific product or service.
Note that it's best to pass the sample description by trademarks@ and/or legal-internal@, to ensure it's a proper trademark goods description. For example, at one point Apache Tomcat's website said it is an "implementation" and a "collaboration". Apache SpamAssassin's website described itself as a "project" and a "version" and otherwise refers to the software as "it". Neither of these contains a proper trademark goods description (i.e. computer software that performs a function).
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 extra 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).
Website Navigation Links
Whatever main navigation system your project website uses, it must feature
certain links back to key pages on the main
www.apache.org website. These
links should 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 http://www.apache.org/security/ page
All projects must feature some prominent link back to the main ASF homepage at
If you have alternate suggestions for the link text that better fit with your project's web presence, please let trademarks@ know. In particular, we would like to ensure that any project-specific "Thanks" pages you may have (i.e. thanking third parties for donated software licenses for your specific project, etc.) are represented in a consistent manner across all projects, and are presented publicly in a manner that is distinctly different than the formal Sponsorship program.
Link back to www.apache.org: All project and subproject homepages must
include a prominent link to the main
http://www.apache.org homepage. This
may either be a featured link in your main navigation system, or may be 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.
All project or product homepages must feature a prominent trademark attribution of all applicable ASF marks. Other project pages should feature attributions of any marks displayed thereon. For example:
Apache Foo, Foo, Apache, the Apache feather logo, and the Apache Foo project logo are trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation.
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 a "TM" symbol next to the first main occurrence of the "Apache Foo" project name. 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 other 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 (either to cover cases where a large number of marks are used, or in case we're not sure which words are other organization's marks), you can add instead:
All other marks mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Logos And Graphics
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 may choose to use the Apache feather in their logo if they wish, but if they do so they should contact trademarks@ to determine the best format of the feather to use. In the near future we plan to have much simpler versions of the feather to incorporate if desired, including various sizes and colors.
Powered By... Logos
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 may more freely license copies of a "Powered by..." logo, more easily allowing third parties to showcase their uses of our products.
For an example (although not a great graphic), see the original "Powered by Apache" logo that the httpd project has been offering for much of its history. Note that the requirements for newer "Powered by..." logos will be different than the original httpd guidelines.
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. 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.
Other Trademark Guidelines
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 has a specific reason for formally registering their marks, please contact trademarks@ for advice on approaching the board for the funding and legal counsel. The ASF does have a handful of formal trademark registrations, although we do not plan to register product names unless there is a specific reason to do so (note that registration incurs costs, as well as added oversight duties).
Project-related Domain Names If there are pre-existing non-apache.org
domain names directly related to the project that are in use for
project-related purposes, the project's PMC may request that the ASF (and
the infrastructure team) take over the registration of those domain names
if they are freely available or will be donated. Note that in general
projects must publish any and all official information at their
project.apache.orgdomain, or on an Infrastructure-supported wiki
site. If your PMC plans to actively manage and maintain these
non-apache.org domain names, then contact
trademarks@ for advice on determining if we should ask Infrastructure to take
over the registration and how to setup the redirects to the primary project
Project Branding Board Report Checklist
Projects are asked to report their current status in terms of applying these branding guidelines in their quarterly board reports, until they've completed implementation. Please provide a basic idea of the implementation status of each item in the checklist (not started, in progress, complete, etc.) in your board reports until complete. We'd like to see all projects following these guidelines by Q1 of 2011.
Project Branding Board 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 checkedin and up to date
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. You may also find this article, Passport Without A Visa: Open Source Software Licensing and Trademarks by Tiki Dare and Harvey Anderson, to be a useful reference on trademarks.