Practical Trademark Law

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about how trademarks work with open source software - or, indeed, how trademarks work in technology. This was one of the first :star: versions of this talk, and was focused for a general audience, not just Apache projects. Slides posted include slide notes, which provide a deeper level of explanation.


Are you wondering how your company can profit from the wild success of the Apache® Hadoop® brand? Is your community struggling to keep vendor marketing teams out of your project’s governance? Do you need a lawyer before you can “trademark” something, or can you do it yourself? (Tip: you can do it yourself!)

Shane is here to help explain trademark law in practical, everyday terms for FOSS projects and the companies that contribute to them. I can clear up many misconceptions, and give you the practical and actionable advice you need to help your company or community protect and improve your good name and reputation.

Some simple steps in the community about presenting and treating trademarks are all it takes to get started. Similarly, corporations need to consider business values first, before bringing in the lawyers.

Trademark education that makes sense.


Shane is founder of Punderthings℠ LLC consultancy, helping organizations find better ways to engage with the critical open source projects that power modern technology and business. He blogs and tweets about open source governance and trademark issues, and has spoken at major technology conferences like ApacheCon, OSCON, All Things Open, Community Leadership Summit, and Ignite.
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