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From Shane Curcuru <...@shanecurcuru.org>
Subject Software product trademark use in training naming
Date Mon, 17 Jan 2011 20:21:15 GMT
I'd like to get some feedback and suggestions on trademark licensing 
strategies - in this particular case, in naming styles for software 
product training classes using Apache marks.

* Background

Apache's primary mission is to ship software for the public good. 
Therefore the brands and trademarks associated with the software 
*products* that our projects ship are important to defend.  However 
Apache, as an organization, does not typically offer that many services 
associated with our products, other than the expected community-led 
email lists, bugtrackers, and the like.

A wide variety of third parties provide training and other education for 
some of our products, and often may wish to associate their training 
classes with our products closely.   In many cases this will be a 
benefit to our projects, because it will tend to increase the popularity 
of our software products (and presumably the projects behind them).

Note that we both have a specific third party asking for naming 
permissions using Apache marks at the moment, and I believe there are 
other third parties who are likely to have the same question.

* Questions

- What naming styles should we encourage third parties to use for their 
training classes and certifications?  I think this will become a popular 
topic, so I'd like to publish a policy with some suggestions as to how 
third parties can do this in a way that we're happy with.

- What naming styles do we need to *prevent* to ensure that our marks 
are protected?  In particular, are there any differences between 
"classes", "training", "certified training", or the like?  (i.e. would 
the phrase "certified training" tend to imply a higher bar than others?)

This in particular is where I'd love to see some discussion, especially 
since our primary concern is about our software products, and I'm coming 
to realize that services (of various types) seem to be treated 
differently in trademarks.

For example, an obvious third party desire will be to prominently 
advertise certified training classes like:

   "BigCo Certified Developer: Apache Foo"

Is this something that readers here would 1) encourage, 2) look the 
other way about, or 3) be very uncomfortable with?
(Note that I'm expecting that the rest of the certified training website 
would properly attribute our Apache Foo mark, and otherwise be 
respectful of our brands; I'm just getting ideas for primary naming.)


Thanks,
- Shane Curcuru
   VP, Brand Management, The Apache Software Foundation
   http://www.apache.org/foundation/

bcc: trademarks@apache.org for FYI

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