Protecting the Joomla! Trademark in JED
We love when people talk about Joomla, build business around Joomla, and produce products that make life better for Joomla users and developers. At the JED we especially love it when people build extensions for Joomla.
As most of you probably already know, Joomla! and the Joomla! logo are trademarked. We in the JED have worked for quite a long time together with Open Source Matters (OSM) to provide information about this and to prevent violations of the Joomla trademark and logo for newly submitted extensions that have been placed in or linked from the JED.
Why is the Joomla! Name Trademarked?
The reason we work to protect the Joomla trademark is that we have a direct interest in maintaining the integrity of the Joomla brand. We want to ensure that everyone in our community has equal possibilities to use it in a fair way, and we want to prevent it from being used in a ways that create confusion and hurt the project and our community.
What Has Been the Situation Until Now?
We have been working together with the 3rd party developers for a quite long time to help them to comply with OSM's trademark and logo policy. This has in most cases been a very smooth process. Our focus has mainly been on new extensions.
What Change Are We Making?
Now also are going to look at all extensions names and domains and that we are going make sure that everyone who are using the Joomla name as a part of their identity, service or product has permission. We plan to have all of these cleared up by 30 June 2009.
How Do I Get Permission?
If you want to use the term Joomla as a part of domain, service, business or product names, you need permission (a license) to use it. The permission process is simple and quite straightforward. All you need to do is fill a form. We JED editors can help our 3rd party developers to immediately get a such license approved if the terms are fulfilled and there are no other issues. The same holds whether the use is Joomla or an abbreviation derived from Joomla because both can weaken the Joomla trademark.
How Do I Get Started?
If you are a third party developer you can help with this by getting started on your own. Here are the links you need.
- General information about licensing and trademark - https://tm.joomla.org/
- Extension name request form https://tm.joomla.org/licensing-your-extension
- Information on conditional use logos https://tm.joomla.org/conditional-use-logos
- Name and logo use (requesting permission forms for business names and other name uses and use of the logo) https://tm.joomla.org/joomla-name-and-logo-use
Please note that OSM will only license the use of the Joomla! name or variations to 3rd party extensions that use the GNU GPL license, which means they are in compliance with the Joomla! license and they are part of the GNU GPL software community. Extensions that do not use the Joomla! name may continue to comply with the Joomla! license by using any GNU GPL compatible license.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need to ask for permission to use the Joomla name as a part of website, service or product?
Trademark law says that we need to control and enforce the use of a trademark. Failing to do so could mean that we lose the trademark.
I'm providing extensions that aren't GPL. Is there a way to get a permission to use the Joomla! name?
No. You need either to change your license so you comply with Joomla's license or stop using the Joomla name. We are aware that it take time and can be an effort to change names, so we are going to give sufficient time to change if you are already listed in JED.
Are there any restrictions how I can name an extension?
Yes, we won't accept any extension names that starts with “Joomla” like “Joomlashop” or any names that can create confusion with already existing names.
I want to build up my own trademark. Is there a way I can trademark protect a Joomla name or a variation of it.
No. We believe that trademarks are very important for the identity and avoid to create confusion with other similar products and services. We recommend if you have a commercial company that you try to find your unique non-Joomla related identity there your customers can identify your name with your company.
I see that you also ask that abbreviation derived from Joomla need to be licensed. Why?
Variations of the Joomla name can challenge the Joomla trademark and need to be enforced according to trademark laws. We will look case by case for distant variations.
I have written a text in an article about Joomla or am doing a presentation about Joomla. Do I need to license a such use?
No, that is called fair use and such use doesn't need to be licensed. It is when you use the name together with the website, the domain, service or product you need the name use licensed.
Why is it so important to keep Joomla trademarked? Wouldn't it be better to let everyone use it without any restrictions?
We believe that everyone in our community should have the same equal possibilities to use the name now and in the future. We want to prevent others from trademarking Joomla! and restricting use. We also want to prevent use in a such way that would harm our project and community. For example, we want to keep people from distributing unofficial and confusing versions of Joomla under the Joomla name or using the name to spread harmful products. The Joomla community has put a lot of effort into building good will and a positive reputation for the Joomla brand, and trademarking protects that.