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Collaborative Mark Policy


The Community marks represent [insert community's mission or overarching project function]. Trademark protection reinforces the connection between the Community marks and the projects that they represent. The protection serves to ensure that the marks are only used for activities that promote our mission.

[Insert specific purposes of protecting community’s trademarks. For example: “When readers see the puzzle globe mark in the top left corner of a website that looks like Wikipedia, they should be confident that they are looking at neutral, notable, and high quality content that is the result of the rigorous and transparent editing process on Wikipedia. Likewise, people should be able to rely on their impression of the trademark steward’s involvement when they see the Foundation mark or one of the trademark steward’s logos on websites or products.”]

The goodwill supporting the Community marks has been generated by a prolific and passionate volunteer community. The community has developed [insert a description of the project (e.g. software)]. To preserve the goodwill they have created, we have prepared this policy according to the community’s direction. The resulting policy ensures that all uses of the marks are consistent with our mission and promote our movement.

Our mission relies on and encourages free speech. This trademark policy embraces all free speech protections built into trademark law to the broadest extent possible. The trademark policy also seeks to minimize the hurdles of trademark licensing. We are particularly liberal in approving uses by the community that are closely aligned with our mission.

To further make it easier for community members to use the marks, this policy introduces some creative trademark solutions. For example, it empowers community members to use the Community marks without a trademark license for community-focused events and outreach work. The policy further introduces a “quick license” for other common uses that community members can quickly fill out and email to us.

1. What does this policy apply to?

1.1. The “Community marks”

This policy applies to all trademarks of the Community. The trademarks are both registered and unregistered trademarks, including non-stylized wordmarks and the trade dress of each Community project. In this policy, we refer to them as the “Community marks” or just “marks.” Here is a non-exclusive list of our trademarks: [list wordmarks and logos].

1.2. “Use” of the Community marks

This policy applies whenever you want to use the Community marks. Section 2 of this policy applies to all uses of the marks. Other sections apply only to uses that do not require separate permission, uses that require a trademark license, or uses under agreements held by [insert groups/organizations recognized by the community, if any (e.g. user groups)]. If some term in your trademark license is inconsistent with this policy, you should follow the license terms.

2.3. “We” or the “Trademark steward”

This policy regulates the use of marks held by the [organization or individual that holds the marks], who acts as a Trademark steward for the Community marks. Sometimes, this policy simply refers to the Trademark steward as “we.”

1.4. “You”

This policy applies to “you” if you want to use the Community marks and explains how you may use them. You may be a member of Community or an unrelated individual or organization.

1.4.1. Community members

The community includes everyone who contributes to a community project in furtherance of our mission. It also includes members and staff of [groups/organizations recognized by the community (e.g. user groups)] and the Trademark steward.

The members of the community share a common mission. They are the core of the movement. Accordingly, community members are free to use all Community marks on the Community projects and for community-focused events, as well as outreach work without a trademark license. Community members can also easily fill out a quick license for certain other community uses. And we generally give priority to community requests for uses that require an ordinary trademark license.

1.4.2. Other organizations or individuals

Community projects are so well known that authors and script writers frequently want to portray them in books and movies. Similarly, other companies may want to reuse content from Community projects in web or mobile applications. In doing so, these individuals and companies may want to display our marks in movies, books, apps, or other media.

As long as users are not confused about the source of those works, this type of use can promote the Community projects and mission by expanding the reach of the Community projects and potentially recruiting new members to the Community. But it’s important that the Community marks are not misleadingly used to market others’ products because that will confuse Community users. We therefore have to be careful when licensing the marks for these purposes. For example, when licensing the marks to an organization that has its own logo, we need to make sure that it doesn’t display any Community mark more prominently than its own logo or name. It’s helpful to always have a proper separation between the organization’s name and logo and any Community mark. Users should clearly see that the organization’s products or services are provided by that other organization rather than the Community. And such use is never allowed without a trademark license.

1.5. “Mission”

The Community marks should only be used for activities that promote our [insert link to community’s mission statement], which is to [insert a short description of the mission].

1.6. “Community projects”

The purpose of the marks and this policy is to protect the goodwill created by the community members through their work on collaboratively developed projects.

2. How to use the Community marks

[Include the following sentence with a link to the guidelines if the Trademark steward has separate visual identity guidelines: "Please follow our visual identity guidelines whenever you use the marks whether with or without a trademark license".] Whenever you use the Community marks, note the following:

2.1. Proper form


You may use the wordmarks as a proper name (e.g. “Community is great”) or as an adjective (e.g. “the Community projects are awesome”). This includes any of the official translations and transliterations of the Community marks.


You may only use Community wordmarks in their full form and properly capitalized (e.g. “[insert example of community wordmark]”). You may not abbreviate them or combine them with other words (e.g. not “[insert example of abbreviation like "Wiki"]"). But you can use the marks in any form on the Community projects.


You may create remixes of the Community logos on the Community projects. But outside the Community projects, the logos should not be modified without separate permission from the Trademark steward. We need to make sure that the logos remain distinctive from other marks.

2.2. Notice or trademark symbol

When reasonable, please include this notice when you use a mark outside of the Community projects:

“Wordmark / name of logo as listed [insert link to list of community’s trademarks] is a trademark of the [Trademark steward] and is used with the permission of the [Trademark steward]. We are not endorsed by or affiliated with the [Trademark steward].”

The notice should appear near the first use of a Community mark. One notice is enough if you display multiple marks, provided the notice refers to all of them.

If the mark will primarily appear on a mobile screen or another medium with limited visual space, you may instead use a trademark symbol (™) with the mark to show that it is a Community trademark. [If relevant: "For size and location of the trademark symbol, please see the Visual Identity Guidelines."] When you use a symbol due to limited space and there are additional pages to your material, please include the notice in the text of a prominent page (e.g. most mobile apps have an “about us” section and may display terms during installation).

Regardless of whether you use a notice or a trademark symbol to identify your use of Community marks, make sure that your use does not suggest endorsement by or affiliation with the Trademark steward.

3. When you may use the Community marks without asking us

3.2. Community-focused events

You may use the trademarks for events that promote our mission and are intended to be predominantly attended by Community community members. These are events like [insert relevant events attended predominantly by community members].

For example, you can put the [insert name of community’s logo] on banners and posters at an [relevant event attended predominantly by community members] you've organized.

[Insert important trademark uses that promote the Community projects but are not predominantly visible only to community members] require a quick license under Section 4.1. This provision also does not allow you to use the marks for fundraising.

3.3. Outreach and recruiting new volunteers

You may use the marks consistent with our mission to educate people about the Community projects and to recruit new volunteers, as long as you make it clear that you do not work for the Trademark steward. You can create educational material or banners to decorate a public fair stand or to publicize an [relevant event]. But, please don’t sell any of them.

This provision does not allow you to use the marks for fundraising.

3.4. Discussing something other than Community projects (fair use)

Wordmarks can sometimes have a primary meaning, in addition to representing a brand (like the words “apple” or “facebook”). Our wordmarks were not real words before our projects were created. But we will interpret fair use broadly to include the use of our wordmarks when you really mean to talk about something other than the Community projects.

3.5. Refer to Community projects (nominative use)

You can use the non-stylized wordmarks (e.g. ["Wikipedia"]) to describe:

  • A Community project or another aspect of the movement in a text (e.g. [“I love reading about new things on Wikipedia”]).
  • Derivative work of a Community project in a way that is not misleading (e.g. [“the encyclopedic content on this site is derived from Wikipedia”]).

Here are some specific cases of nominative use:

3.5.1. News reporting

You may use the Community marks to make truthful statements about the Community projects in news reports and commentary.

3.5.2. Personal blogs and social media

You can use the Community marks to make truthful statements about the Community projects in personal blogs and social media. But please don’t do it to imply endorsement by or affiliation to the Trademark steward. To avoid confusion, don’t use the Community logos in the background, as your profile image, or in the header of your blog. You should also not use the marks in the name of your blog or in your social media username.

3.5.3. Artistic, scientific, literary, political, and other non-commercial uses

You can use the Community marks to discuss the Community projects in artistic, scientific, literary, and political work.

But please send us a request if you want to place a Community mark on the cover of your book, display a Community mark in a movie, or organize an event or presentation that could be interpreted to be endorsed by the Trademark steward. For more information, please see the portion of this policy on “special uses that require permission” (Section 4).

You may also use the marks in satire or jokes. To avoid confusing users that your work is affiliated with the Community projects, it may be helpful to mark your work as “satire” or “parody.”

3.5.4. Links to Community projects

You may use the marks on your own website as a hyperlink to the Community projects. [If relevant: "The use of logos in hyperlinks should follow the Visual Identity Guidelines. For example, the marks may be resized, but not modified in any other way."]

3.6. Make your own branded stuff

You may create things with the marks for your own use. These can be t-shirts, caps, desktop wallpapers, and even cakes! But please don’t sell them. [If relevant: "Make sure that your design follows the Visual Identity Guidelines."] If you want to sell your branded stuff, you can request a license under Section 4.6.

4. Special uses that require permission

All uses that are not allowed under Section 3 of this policy require a trademark license. This section discusses only the most common uses that require a license.

When you use our marks under a trademark license, you need to comply with its terms as well as with this trademark policy. If some term in your license is inconsistent with this policy, you should follow the license terms. Related organizations will only need a separate license when the use is not already authorized by their organizational agreements with the Trademark steward or this policy.

4.1. Quick license for special community uses

A quick license is a quick trademark license for common community uses, like [insert trademark uses that only require a quick license like "hackathons"]. You can start using the marks as stated in the quick license as soon as you email a filled-in quick license to the Trademark steward at [email address]. There is no need to wait for any approval.

4.1.1. Hackathons

This provision applies to hackathons where people meet to work on Community projects together. You need permission to advertise such an event with a Community mark. But don't worry, we love hackathons! You can get a quick license for flyers, posters, slide presentations, websites, and social media for a hackathon.

4.2. Domain names

You need permission to register or use a domain name that contains a Community mark in it. Please don’t register a domain that looks or sounds similar to a Community mark or includes a misspelled Community mark as that can confuse Community users.

4.3. Events and conferences

You need a trademark license if you plan to host a public event or a conference that uses a Community mark.

[You should include the following information when requesting a license to use our marks in an event.]

  1. What is the proposed title of the event?
  2. Who is hosting, sponsoring, or coordinating the event?
  3. Include contact information (and Community username if relevant) for the person organizing the event.
  4. Is the event organized for community members?
  5. What is the topic of the event?
  6. The location, date, and duration of the event.
  7. Include handouts, examples, mockups, or other descriptions of the proposed use.

When you get a trademark license, it will only apply to the specific event in your request. You will need to apply for a new license if you want to host another event.

4.4. Publications

You need a trademark license if you want to use a Community mark in a publication in a way that is not fair or nominative use under U.S. trademark law or other applicable foreign laws.

[You should include the following information when requesting a license to use our marks in a publication.]

  1. What is the proposed title of the publication?
  2. Contact information (and Community username if relevant) for the applicant.
  3. Who is the author, editor, and publisher of the publication?
  4. For fiction, what is the storyline?
  5. How do you want to use and discuss the mark?
  6. Include printouts of the pages in your publication that includes or discusses the mark. (For a book, where in the book will the mark appear?)
  7. If your publication will display a screenshot of a Community project, please include that as well.
  8. Will the publication be in hard copy, an e-book, or some other type of medium?
  9. What is the print run and distribution area for the publication? How many editions will it have?

When you get a trademark license, it will only apply to the specific publication in your request. You will need to apply for a new license if you want to make another publication.

4.5. Movies and TV shows

You need a trademark license if you want to use the Community’s logo in a movie, TV show episode, or online production.

[You should include the following information when requesting a license to use our marks in a movie or TV show.]

  1. What is the proposed title of the movie or TV show?
  2. Contact information (and Community username if relevant) for the applicant.
  3. The names of the screenwriter, director, producer, distributor, actors, and any interviewees (for documentaries).
  4. How will the Community mark be displayed or discussed? Include a printout of any Community project that you want to show.
  5. Include a script and any footage that has already been created. Unless discussed in the script, specify the location of the film and whether it will advertise a product in conjunction with using the Community marks.
  6. Where, when, and how will the movie be distributed?
  7. How will it be advertised? Do you intend to display the Community marks on the advertisement?

When you get a trademark license, it will only apply to the specific film, TV show episode, or online production in your request. You will need to apply for a new license if you want to shoot another film or TV show episode.

4.6. Commercial merchandise

You may also make merchandise with the Community marks for commercial use, if:


You get a trademark license from the Trademark steward;


You follow our Visual Identity Guidelines; and


You truthfully advertise to customers how much of the selling price, if any, will be donated to Community projects.

5. Prohibited uses

5.1. Misleading mirrors and mimicking sites

Please don’t create a website that mimics the ‘look and feel’ of a Community project. If you have a good reason to create a mimicking site, please contact the Trademark steward at [email address].

You don’t need to contact us if your mimicking site is clearly a parody.

If you create a mirror, make sure to comply with the relevant licenses for the content. Avoid copying links to legal policies and contact details that are unique for the Community projects. Please don’t use the Community marks in a mirror of a Community site.

5.2. Linking to non-Trademark steward sites

You may use Community marks to link to Community projects only. Please refer to Section 3.5.4 if you want to link to a Community project from your website.

5.3. Misrepresentation

When you use a Community mark, do not create the impression that your use is in any way endorsed, or sponsored by, or part of the Trademark steward. This section also applies when you are granted a license to use a mark that doesn’t permit you to suggest such an endorsement.

6. Trademark Abuse

6.1. Reporting abuse

Fighting trademark abuse is very important. We put a lot of effort into going after cases of trademark infringement because we want to protect the valuable trademark rights the community has created. If you see a mark being used in any way that could be infringing, please tell us! Just send an email to the Trademark steward at [email address]. We really appreciate your help!

6.2. Revoking permission for abusive uses

We may revoke the right to use the Community marks under this policy at any time by providing notice in any manner if we determine that a trademark use is inconsistent with our mission or could harm community members, our project, or the Trademark steward.

7. Revision and Translation of the trademark policy


This trademark policy can be revised as follows:


We will give notice of proposed revisions on the Community projects and in an email to [relevant community mailing list]. The community can then comment for at least 30 days.


For minor changes or changes required by law, when possible we will provide three days’ notice to [relevant community mailing list]. Minor changes include language fixes, administrative changes, or corrections of inaccurate statements.

This section does not apply to the user-friendly summary, the FAQs, the purpose statement for the trademark policy, the trademark request form, and the violation reporting form. They are not part of this trademark policy and can always be revised without notice.

7.2. [If relevant: Translation of the trademark policy

If some term in a translation of this trademark policy is inconsistent with the original English version of this policy, you should follow the original English version.]

7.3. Questions

Please don't hesitate to contact us at [email address] if you are not sure whether your use is in compliance with this policy or local trademark laws.

License notes

The Collaborative Mark Policy is a derivative of the Wikimedia Trademark Policy, by Yana Welinder, Stephen LaPorte, and Wikimedia contributors, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 (unported) license (CC BY-SA 3.0).

The Wikimedia Trademark Policy is available at

The Sample Trademark Policy for Collaborative Communities is licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

The terms of the CC BY-SA 3.0 license are available at