With the tremendous growth of, and interest in, the Open Source Initiative, open source software and even "open" as an organizational and developmental model, the OSI often receives inquires on the use of the OSI trademarks. In addition, there are often cases where well-meaning, but miss-informed, organizations and individuals may use the OSI trademarks improperly, and even those with more nefarious motives who wish to imply an association that does not exist.

The current "OSI Trademark Guidelines" are available on the public OSI web site for review.

As a trademark holder in good standing, the OSI should diligently protect our marks (name, logo, etc.) from infringement and other misuse (e.g., blurring, tarnishment, unfair competition, passing off, false advertising and cybersquatting) that may harm the not only our goodwill and business reputation, but the broader open source software community. 

This page is made available for the public discussion and management of the OSI's trademark guidelines. This page's content, nor the comments included, should not be considered OSI policy. Rather this page is simply a forum for reflection, discussion, discovery and development to inform current and future policy.

The only official resource for OSI policy on trademarks is on the "OSI Trademark Guidelines" web page.

Email Discussions (OSI Trademark list)

The OSI does provide an email list for discussions on trademarks. You may join that list by...

Trademark Registration

For reference, OSI Registered Trademarks can be found here.

  • U.S. Service Mark Application Serial No. 88/191623 for "OPEN SOURCE INITIATIVE (SM) or (TM), Feb. 18, 2014
  • Certificate of Registration, Benelux Office of Intellectual Property, Nov. 8th, 2012 - 2022
  • International Registration of "OPEN SOURCE INITIATIVE" (as of August 21st, 2014)
    • An International Application was filed on August 12, 2014 and will be extended to Australia, China, India, Japan, and Korea.  The US Trademark Office reference for this International Application is A0044402.  We will report to you once the registration issues, after which the application will be examined in each of the Extension Countries.
    • Australia
    • Brazil:  Application Nos. 908110324 and 908110391 were filed on August 12, 2014 (each class has its own application in Brazil).

    • Canada:  The application was filed on August 12, 2014, to obtain issuance of an Application No. The Class 45 services in this application were expanded to include, “Educational services, namely, developing, arranging, and conducting educational conferences, programs, courses of instruction and online educational seminars in the field of non-proprietary software.”

      • Open Source Initiative, Inc.’s trademark OPEN SOURCE INITIATIVE was registered in Canada as of July 18, 2016: see, Official Certificate of Registration.
        Date Registered in Canada: July 18, 2016
        Registration No.: TMA943,595
        Renewal Date: July 18, 2031
    • European Community:  Application No. 013166194 was filed on August 12, 2014.  The Class 35 services in this application were expanded by our colleague to include, “promotion of computer software which is distributed under agreements meeting certain requirements for distribution and redistribution of the software.”

    • Hong Kong:  Application No. 303097828 was filed on August 12, 2014.

      • CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION OF TRADE MARK Trade Marks Ordinance (Chapter 559),
        Trade Mark No.: 303097828 (view)
    • Korea:
    • Taiwan:  Application No. 103046341 was filed on August 12, 2014.

  • Combined Declaration of Use and Incontestability for registration number '3560035' (Reg. Date: 01/13/2009): MARK: (Stylized and/or with Design, OPEN SOURCE INITIATIVE)

International Recognition and References

The Open Source Initiative, Open Source Definition and OSI Approved Open Source Licenses are internationally recognized. Many governments, international organizations, multi-national corporations and global communities rely on the Open Source Initiative, the Open Source Definition and OSI Approved Open Source Licenses for identifying computer software as "open source software." The OSI seeks references to establish:

  1. references for government authorities seeking precedence in the adoption of the OSI/OSD/OSI Approved Licenses as internationally recognized standards;
  2. the authority of the Open Source Initiative, the Open Source Definition and/or OSI Approved Open Source Licenses.

Use by Members, Affiliates and Sponsors

How can members, affiliates and sponsors use the OSI marks?

The use of the OSI mark/logo is sought by Individual Members, Affiliates and Sponsors to:

  • Show support for the OSI, our mission and our activities. In addition these groups may want to promote the OSI as an organization.
  • Promote their own participation and contributions in the OSI as an organization.

Usage by these groups, in the first case should be provided through existing trademark guidelines.

To promote the relationship between the OSI and the member/affiliate/sponsor the following three logos should be used.

OSI_Member_logo.png OSI_Affiliate_logo.pngOSI_Sponsors_logo.png

Use of OSI Logo for Merchandising

Multiple inquiries have been made seeking permission to use the OSI logo on merchandise for sale by third parties, for example,

  • [OSI-TM] question about using your logo and other opensource logos.
  • [OSI-TM] [Trademark enquiries] Usage Of OSI Logo In Own T-Shirt (For Sale Purposes)

There is no clear policy for licensing the use of the OSI logo or trademarks.

Consent Agreements

The OSI desires to resolve any potential conflicts between ourselves and other organization's marks, thus avoiding any potential confusion, mistake or deception of the general public or members of the relevant merchandising trades with respect to ownership, use and registration rights. The OSI has developed "Consent Agreements" with other organizations related to the use, and clarification, of trademarks.

While the OSI has developed agreements in the past, this is rare with the OSI generally denying such requests.

Possible Infractions

While the OSI is flattered so many organizations wish to associate themselves with the open source movement, and in particular the OSI, in order to achieve our goals and pursue  our mission we must protect our reputation and our partners who we have aligned ourselves with: this includes the tools used to identify the OSI, such as our logo, trademarks, official name, etc. When the OSI discovers the unauthorized use of any OSI registered trademark we will notify the organization to remove the OSI branding from their materials. While the OSI can provide consent to use our name (e.g. "Open Source Initiative") or our logo (or even a representation of the OSI logo)—without significant cause—the OSI generally frowns on such use outside the organization and would deny such requests.

A page has been created as a catchall for assisting in preserving the OSI registered trademark and identifying potential abuse.  OSI as a general statement does not want to discourage the use of the logo to promote open source software, however with the increase of social media and online web-based communities since the creation of  the policy, we have seen an increased use of the mark to identify non-OSI related activities in a way which may confuse the reader as to the affiliation (or lack thereof) to OSI and the OSD.

The full policy for logo usage can be found at .

Created by Patrick Masson on 2013.12.13 at 14:06:56 PST

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