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A step-by-step guide for PMC members contacting third parties potentially misusing their Apache® project's trademarks.

How To Contact Third Parties Misusing Apache Trademarks

You must evaluate the specific context of where the Apache project's name or logo is being used, especially with respect to what kind of product or service it's being used in conjunction with.
Trademarks only apply within a specific class of goods - like software products, or automobiles, or canned food - and generally only apply to products with a similar functionality. They also apply most strongly to the primary branding of a product - and not as strongly to other associated marketing materials.

Likelihood of Confusion

Trademark law is about ensuring that consumers are not confused as to the source of a product, in our case software products. So generally another party using our trademarks would only be a problem (and need to be contacted) if the two software products share somewhat similar functionality. That is, it is unlikely that someone using Lucene as the name for a graphics editing app for phones is going to confuse users about our Lucene search engine product.

The USPTO says: "Likelihood of confusion exists between trademarks when the marks are so similar and the goods and/or services for which they are used are so related that consumers would mistakenly believe they come from the same source."

When An Apache Project Name (e.g. "Hadoop") Is Misused

When Apache Project Brands Are Used Elsewhere

If any Apache trademarks are being used in branding of an event, please see the Third Party Event Branding Policy for more details what is allowable first.

If any Apache trademarks are being used in domain names, please see the Third Party Domain Name Policy for more details on what is allowable first.

If any Apache trademarks (names or logos) are being used on apparel or swag (or giveaways at events), please see the Merchandising Policy for more details.

When The Apache Feather Or Name Are Misused

The Apache feather and APACHE® name are a key part of the brand for all projects as well as the ASF as a whole. Misuses of these brands are serious matters that should always be brought to the attention of trademarks@ directly, where we will determine the appropriate action to take.

As a public charity, we are happy when other parties talk about Apache projects or the ASF, as long as they are making factual statements, and are not claiming any affiliation, partnership, or other relationship to the ASF. There are a few factual exceptions, for example paid Sponsors of the ASF and factual statements from companies that have successfully donated podlings to the Incubator.