[zeromq-dev] Trademark policy for 0MQ

Martin Sustrik sustrik at 250bpm.com
Thu May 12 19:18:31 CEST 2011

Hi all,

Here's the summary (as far as I understood it) from the IRC discussion 
with Pieter, Mato and Daisuke:

1. The trademarks are meant to protect the community from hostile takeover.

2. Separating trademark-covered (ZeroMQ) and non-trademark-covered names 
(zmq) doesn't make sense. We should extend the current list of 
trademarks with "zmq". (The company named ZMQSoft doesn't seem to claim 
the trademark.)

3. Naming bindings using "zmq" postfix is for consistency's sake and has 
nothing to do with trademarks.

4. Trademarks can be owned only by a legal entity, such as a person or a 
firm. There's no such thing as community-owned trademark.

5. The trademarks are currently owned by iMatix. Given that iMatix is a 
commercial entity, ownership of trademarks on behalf of community can be 
a bit delicate. There's still an option to pass to ownership to some 
foundation, such as spi (owns trademarks for debian, libreoffice etc.)

6. Whoever owns the trademarks on behalf of the community, there still 
have to be a governance process to manage those trademarks.

7. Pieter proposes to pass the governance to github "zeromq" 
organisation admins. The problem IMO is binding the governance model to 
the 3rd party (github).

8. Even if the 3rd party thing is not considered a problem, the admin 
group has no process of by-laws. It's not clear whether the decisions 
are done by voting etc.

As I side note, Daisuke offered his help in case we ever need to 
register the trademarks in Japan.


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