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From Shane Curcuru <...@shanecurcuru.org>
Subject Re: Software product trademark use in training naming
Date Tue, 18 Jan 2011 13:17:37 GMT
"Jennifer O'Neill" <jennifer...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Hi Shane -- I hope all has been well with you.  A quick question for more
> background -- does ASF want to review the content and materials for any
> classes that would be described as "certified," or would the 3rd party
> course provider have sole discretion over what constitutes certification?
> 
> Cheers,
> Jennifer

No, the only role that the ASF will have in these situations is 
commenting on third party requests to use specific names.  The contents, 
methods, whatever, of the training are solely up to the third party to 
determine.

It is unlikely any ASF project will have sufficient dedicated volunteers 
to provide "certification" or truly detailed training classes with tests 
to match.  This is typically an area that only third parties will be 
filling at the current time.

- Shane

Shane Curcuru wrote:
> 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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