On WordPress trademark policy – how not to name your WordPress-related blog/resource!
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Scouring the web looking for WordPress-related goodies as often as we do, we occasionally hear of or come across WordPress-related startups that are unwittingly infringing on the official WordPress trademark – usually by including the word ‘wordpress’ as part of their top-level domain. The thing is, however, that it’s not always obvious to people just starting out with a new venture that they’re infringing on anything – which is why we thought we’d take a brief look at a few of the basic do’s and don’ts of the official WordPress trademark policy:
A few basic key points to note about the official WordPress trademark policy:
One of the aims of the WordPress Foundation (the non-profit organization whom Matt Mullenweg transfered the WordPress trademark to back in 2010) is ‘to make it easy for anyone to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo for community-oriented efforts that help spread and improve WordPress’; however, they also want ‘to make it hard for anyone to use the WordPress or WordCamp name and logo to unfairly profit from, trick or confuse people who are looking for official WordPress or WordCamp resources’ – which is, of course, what everybody who supports WordPress wants.
What the WordPress Foundation doesn’t want (according to its official page), is any confusion about what is and what is not an official WordPress site/resource – something they help ensure by explicitly stating that ‘permission from the WordPress Foundation is required to use the WordPress or WordCamp name or logo as part of any project, product, service, domain or company name’, and forbidding any use of the word ‘wordpress’ in unofficial top-level domains – although use of ‘wordpress’ in sub-domains, for example, is fine.
Most importantly, for this site and probably any other site that wants to include something in their top-level domain that eludes to WordPress, ‘the abbreviation “wp” is not covered by the WordPress trademarks and you are free to use it in any way you see fit’.
For more on WordPress’ trademark, be sure to check out the official WordPress Foundation website – paying special attention in particular to the official policy page.
(note: Jeffro, over at WordPress Tavern, wrote a really great post on this entitled: ‘Friendly Reminder About The WordPress Domain Trademark‘ – from which we drew inspiration for this post and highly recommend reading!)
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I got hit with this a while ago. I never knew about! I set up an affiliate site which got to earning over $1000 per month. Then I got the letter from the lawyers.