Last week, Matt Mullenweg founder of Automattic and WordPress announced on his blog that the WordPress trademark has been transferred to the WordPress Foundation. What does this mean? Well it means that WordPress’s identity – its name – is now fully independent from any company.
The WordPress Foundation is a not for profit organisation “promoting and ensuring access to WordPress and related open source projects in perpetuity”. In response to the announcement, the WordPress Foundation said
It is highly unusual (to say the least) for a company to give away a trademark worth millions, and this move by Automattic is extremely generous and community-minded.
The WordPress trademark was first registered by Automattic in 2006 when it was a tiny company. The company has grown massively and WordPress is undoubtedly one of (if not) the most used blogging platforms online. Mullenweg says that his goal has been to combine a non-profit and a for-profit service under one umbrella. The word WordPress is now protected as “a beacon of open source freedom”.
So what is the trademark policy for WordPress?
- We’d like to make it easy for anyone to use the WordPress name or logo for community-oriented efforts that help spread and improve WordPress.
- We’d like to make it clear how WordPress-related businesses and projects can (and cannot) use the WordPress name and logo.
- We’d like to make it hard for anyone to use the WordPress name and logo to unfairly profit from, trick or confuse people who are looking for official WordPress resources.
Permission from the WordPress Foundation is required to use the WordPress name or logo as part of any project, product, service, domain or company name. You can and should read the full terms and conditions of use of the logo and name here on the WordPress Foundation Trademark Usage Policy.