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From "Jennifer O'Neill" <jennifer...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Software product trademark use in training naming
Date Tue, 18 Jan 2011 02:31:47 GMT
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?


On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 3:21 PM, Shane Curcuru <asf@shanecurcuru.org> 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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