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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: selling open office
Date Tue, 28 Feb 2012 19:45:05 GMT
On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 1:57 PM, Phillip Rhodes
<> wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM, flamin hotdog
> <> wrote:
>> hi, i was wondering where you stand on people selling open office. i know of somebody
who is selling open office on ebay for profit.
>> thanks andy
> Generally speaking, it's fine to take the code, compile it into a
> binary, and sell it... with or without source code, and under
> any terms compatible with the Apache License.  The bigger question, to
> me, is what they *call* the thing they sell.  The code
> is freely available, but the trademarks and what-not around the name
> "" and "Apache", etc. are a different
> issue.  Somebody selling binaries called "Apache OpenOffice" would, I
> think, need explicit permission to use that name (somebody
> correct me if I'm wrong).  But selling it as "Bob's Kickass Office
> Suite" should be fine.

That's where it gets interesting.  Generally no permission is needed
for so-called "nominative use" of a trademark.  This permits minimal
use of the trademark where necessary for accurate identification.


So if someone has downloaded OpenOffice and put OpenOffice on a CD,
then there should not be a problem with them labeling the CD as
"OpenOffice". Anything else would be less accurate and less useful to
the consumer.

However, putting the OpenOffice logo on the CD?  Using the OpenOffice
logo in your webpage used to sell the CD's?  Calling your company
"OpenOffice Direct"?  These go beyond the minimum needed to identify
what is on the CD.  If someone is doing that, without permission from
Apache, then this could be a problem.

Note:  IANAL, but that is my understanding of how trademarks are
treated in the US.  It may be different in other countries.


> Phillip Rhodes

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