Legal/Using External Trademarks

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This page documents how to use external trademarks within KDE software and websites, i.e. trademarks not owned by KDE e.V. or the applications developer. It is important for the KDE community to respect other entities trademarks both because we expect other entities to respect out trademarks and because there can be legal and financial consequences for committing "trademark piracy".

Wikipedia provides a detailed explanation of trademarks. A trademark can be a sign, symbol, logo, design, name, slogan or phrase which uniquely identifies a particular product or service. For example, the name "Facebook", the "facebook" logo, the Facebook "F" logo, the "Like" button and "Thumbs-up" logo are all trademarks, as are slogans like You-Tube's "Broadcast Yourself". In order to legally protect their trademarks and prevent them from being ruled as public property, most owners will issue Terms of Use for their trademarks and seek to actively enforce those terms. Any use of a trademark outside those terms of use can be ruled by a court to be infringing and appropriate penalties may be applied. The KDE community respects trademark and copyright and will not ship any artefacts that contravene the owners terms of use.

Most terms of use are reasonable as the owners want their brands to be used, but some owners can be draconian in their restrictions. Whenever you want to use an external trademark you must review their terms of use and only use their asset where it is clearly safe to do so. If you are not certain on the terms of use you can ask for help on the [email protected] mailing list. In exceptional circumstances you may need to contact the trademark owner for clarification.


Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.