Note: much of this was taken from the Mozilla Trademark Policy and it is published under the Creative Commons license, although it is not identical to that policy.

Introduction

The OpenNMS trademark is owned by The OpenNMS Group, Inc.. This document outlines the policies regarding the use of OpenNMS trademarks. Any use of the OpenNMS trademarks must be in accordance with this policy. As used in this memo, "trademarks" means not just the OpenNMS logos, but also the names of its various products, as well as the names OpenNMS and OpenNMS.org.

The OpenNMS trademark policy attempts to balance two competing interests: The need to ensure that its trademarks remain reliable indicators of quality and security; and the OpenNMS Group's desire to permit community members, software distributors and others that work with OpenNMS to discuss OpenNMS and to accurately describe their affiliation with the OpenNMS community and The OpenNMS Group, Inc. Striking a proper balance is a tricky situation that many organizations -- in particular those whose products are distributed electronically -- wrestle with every day.

Underlying the OpenNMS trademark policy is the general law of trademarks. Trademarks exist to help consumers identify, and organizations publicize, the source of products. Some organizations make better products than others; over time, consumers begin to associate those organizations (and their trademarks) with quality. When such organizations permit others to place their trademarks on goods of lesser quality, they find that consumer trust evaporates quickly. That's the precise situation that OpenNMS seeks to avoid -- especially since, when it comes to intangible products like software, trust is all consumers have to decide on.

Although the OpenNMS trademark policy is composed of a number of specific rules, some contained in companion documents, most reflect the overarching requirement that your use of the OpenNMS trademarks be non-confusing and non-disparaging. By non-confusing, it means that people should always know who they are dealing with, and where the software they are downloading came from. Websites and software that are not produced by OpenNMS shouldn't imply, either directly or by omission, that they are. By non-disparaging, we mean that, outside the bounds of fair use, you can't use our trademarks as vehicles for defaming us or sullying our reputation. These basic requirements can serve as a guide as you work your way through the policy.

Overall Guidelines for Printed Materials and Web Sites

Although many uses of OpenNMS trademarks are governed by more specific rules, which appear below, the following basic guidelines apply to almost any use of OpenNMS trademarks in printed materials, including marketing, fundraising and other publicity-related materials, and websites:

  • Proper Form: OpenNMS trademarks should be used in their exact form -- neither abbreviated nor combined with any other word or words
  • Accompanying Symbol: The first or most prominent mention of an OpenNMS trademark should be accompanied by a symbol indicating the mark is a registered trademark ("®")
  • Notice: The following notice should appear somewhere nearby (at least on the same page) the first use of an OpenNMS trademark: "OpenNMS is a registered trademark of the OpenNMS Group, Inc."
  • Distinguishable: In at least the first reference, the Trademark should be set apart from surrounding text, either by capitalizing it or by italicizing, bolding or underlining it.

Software Distributions

Unaltered Binaries

You may distribute unchanged official binaries downloaded from OpenNMS.org or Sourceforge.net to anyone in any way subject to governing law, without receiving any further permission from OpenNMS. However, you must not remove or change any part of the official binary, including OpenNMS trademarks. On your website or in other materials, you may truthfully state that the software you are providing is an unmodified version of a OpenNMS application, keeping in mind the overall guidelines for the use of OpenNMS trademarks in printed materials, detailed above. We suggest that, if you choose to provide visitors to your website the opportunity to download OpenNMS binaries, you do so by means of a link to our site, to help ensure faster, more reliable downloads. (See the section on Linking, below.)

If you choose to distribute unchanged OpenNMS binaries yourself, we request that you make available the latest stable version (of course, you probably want to do so as well).

Serious Modifications

Those taking full advantage of the open-source nature of OpenNMS and making significant functional changes may not redistribute the fruits of their labor under any OpenNMS trademark. For example, it would be inappropriate for them to say "based on OpenNMS." Instead, in the interest of complete accuracy, they should describe their executables as "incorporating OpenNMS source code." They should also change the name of the executable so as to reduce the chance that a user of the modified software will be misled into believing it to be a native OpenNMS product.

Linking

So long as you don't do anything that might confuse visitors to your website, or that might violate the Overall Guidelines for Printed Materials, above, OpenNMS invites you to link to the OpenNMS.org website, including for the purpose of allowing your visitors to download OpenNMS.

Services Related to OpenNMS Software

If you offer services related to OpenNMS software, you may use OpenNMS trademarks in describing and advertising your services, so long as you don't violate these overall guidelines for the use of OpenNMS trademarks or do anything that might mislead customers into thinking that the OpenNMS Group has any direct relationship with your organization. The OpenNMS Group has a certified partner program for promoting such a relationship, and it is important to insure that those organizations without a formal relationship with The OpenNMS Group do not mislead others.

For example, it's OK if your website says "Services and Support for OpenNMS provided here". It is not OK to say "Commercial OpenNMS Development available here" or "OpenNMS Support and Services provided here". The former is confusing as to who is performing the OpenNMS development, you or OpenNMS, and the second implies a relationship between OpenNMS and your business. When in doubt, err on the side of providing more, rather than less, explanation and information.

Logos and Merchandise

When it comes to OpenNMS trademarked logos ("logos," for short), there are some cool things you can do and some cool things you can't do - at least not without asking the OpenNMS Group.

You may make t-shirts, desktop wallpaper, or baseball caps with OpenNMS logos on them, though only for yourself and your friends (meaning people from whom you don't receive anything of value in return). You can't put the OpenNMS logo on anything that you produce commercially -- at least not without receiving the OpenNMS Group's permission.

There are two additional broad categories of things you can't do with OpenNMS logos. The first is to produce modified versions of them. A modified logo also would raise the possibility of consumer confusion, thus violating the OpenNMS Group trademark rights, too (remember the overarching requirement that any use of an OpenNMS trademark be non-confusing?). The second concerns high-resolution copies of OpenNMS logos, which you cannot have or use. If you've a very good reason to seek an exception to the rule against having and using high-resolution copies of OpenNMS logos please contact the [OpenNMS Group](mailto:trademark@opennms.com OpenNMS Group).

Questions

OpenNMS has tried to make its trademark policy as comprehensive as possible. If you're considering a use of an OpenNMS trademark that's not covered by the policy, and you're unsure whether that use would run afoul of the OpenNMS trademark guidelines, feel free to contact us and ask at trademark@opennms.com