Policy for use of the Plone trademark

The following policy was ratified by the Plone Foundation Board in November 2004.

Use of the "Plone" trademark

As an appendix to this document, there is a list of fair uses for the word Plone and the other marks.

Fair use is broadly defined as: "to the benefit of the Plone community at large, and not an individual or company in particular". This is a very broad term, but ultimately the Plone Foundation decides what is considered fair use and what is not.

Examples of who would not have to execute a legal agreement to use the word Plone:

  • a Plone user group in Italy
  • An open source product called PloneMailClient
  • An independent web site called ploneproducts.com

The aim is to be as flexible as possible, while still retaining the power to stop people from using it in an unsuitable way. Full list with examples is found here.

  1. Commercial use of the marks requires an agreement with the Plone Foundation, and the board votes on these decisions. Everyone has to go through the same process, no exceptions for anyone.
  2. The policies, and the terms of each case regarding marks, is managed by the Foundation, in the interests of the community. The IP Committee has been delegated the work of making recommendations to the board. The board has the final decision on IP-related issues - so if the IP committee recommends that a particular organization should have the rights to use the word Plone in a commercial setting, the board can still say no.
  3. The board can revoke the right to use the trademark immediately if the organization is found to be using it in an improper way.

Logo usage

If you are using the Plone logo in connection with your fair use rights, you should not change the logo in any way. Changing the color, aspect ratio or shape/form of the logo should be avoided, as should integrating the logo in other structures that will distort the logo.

Use of items that looks like the Plone logo to illustrate a point (eg. circular cookies with three dots on them, for instance) is generally allowed as long as it is not portrayed as a logo.

Detailed information about the use of the Plone Logo, including logo usage guidelines are available on the Plone Logo page and should be followed whenever using the logo.

If in doubt, contact the IP committee about your proposed logo usage.

Examples of Fair Use of the Plone Trademark

This is a list of fair uses for the word Plone and the other marks. Fair use is broadly defined as: "to the benefit of the Plone community at large, and not an individual or company in particular".

The Plone Foundation decides what constitutes fair use, and if you are unsure of whether your usage is covered by the rules for fair use, please contact the IP committee before you start using the Plone trademark.

Here are some of the most common use cases for fair use of the trademark:

I want to add a page about Plone and include the name and logo on our website, can I do that without potential infringement?
Yes. As long as you don't try to be misleading about who created Plone or what it is, this is OK. You should add "Plone is a registered trademark of the Plone Foundation", if it is in a product overview, marketing brochure or similar. Of course this does not apply if you are just talking about Plone in general. If you link to the Plone site (http://plone.org), this is perfectly acceptable. As long as you don't portray yourself as the owner/creator/whatever of Plone, this is a classic fair use situation.
I want to start a Plone user group in my city/country, can I do this without explicit permission from the Plone Foundation?
Yes. You are free to create a user group using the name as long as it is not for profit or misleading as to what the origins and ownership of Plone. Use of the brand is accepted as long as the user group is representative, active and open to newcomers. The use may be suspended by the Foundation if these conditions are not respected, for example if a few number of individuals or businesses control the group in their interest.
I have created a web site that has a catalog of the different available products for Plone called ploneproducts.com - can I do this without infringing on the trademark?
Yes. However, it can't be a for-profit site (selling products etc), but non-profit use is OK. Which means the web site can make a profit by showing advertisements etc, but these money have to be put back into the organization to cover operating expenses like server hosting etc. - i.e. individuals should not profit from this.
I have an open source mail client built with Plone that is called PloneMailClient. Can I do this?
Yes. As long as it is under an approved OSI licence, we have no problem with you using the Plone name as part of your product name. However, if it is not a product related to Plone, you can not use the name. If it is a commercial product that you sell, you cannot use the Plone name without approval from the Plone Foundation. The only condition is that you state the following in your product if you want to use the Plone name in your product name:
    This product is produced independently from the product Plone, and carries no 
    guarantee from the Plone Foundation about quality, suitability or anything
    else. The supplier of this product assumes all responsibility for it.