Trademark Guidelines/Fair-Use Policy for Julia name/logo

question

#1

I am currently trying to come up with a name for a project which might become a commercial product. My best idea so far is JADE (Julia AstroDynamics Environment).

Now I am asking myself whether or not it will be a problem to lead the acronym with the Julia name. Seems like trademark infringement to me.

I have been sensitized by this discussion on Hacker News. People complained that the name WSL is backwards (because it is rather a Linux Subsystem for Windows rather than a Windows Subsystem for Linux) and a Microsoft employee replied that they had to do it this way because of the aforementioned problem.

IANAL, so I think there should be an official policy how the Julia name, logo, etc. can or cannot be used.


#2

Hi Helge,

Speaking for myself only, a multiword name for a commercial product that starts Julia is treading on quo erum est Julia (the strength that is given Julia, the strength that Julia evinces).

I agree that there should be policy, and I think it important that there exist community stewards who attend such product naming questions and can attend, and help dissuade if it be appropriate. Julia ____ should not be a permissible name for invidious software.

Accepting that software realized with Julia is preferred, the package naming guidelines disallow Julia as part of a package’s name). imo Except for offerings of/with/through JuliaComputing and other special cases where the ‘Julia’ of it is the most salient quality, avoid Julia.

With the logo, there has developed a practice of modifying the actual logo without graphic disrespect and using an image that conveys the specialization or focus that attends. As I recall, @StefanKarpinski controls the logo, its use, and the acceptability of expressive alternative versions.


#3

Yes, it would be nice to see some clarity along the lines of the Python trademark guidelines.


#4

We’re in the process of applying for a trademark on the Julia name and sorting out related issues. It’s a bit complicated because the first entity to do business using a name is the one that can apply for a trademark in the US, which means that Julia Computing has to apply for the trademark and then transfer ownership to a foundation – which could be NumFocus or perhaps a standalone Julia Foundation which would exist primarily for the purpose of owning Julia community IP. The foundation would then own the trademark and grant Julia Computing exclusive rights to certain sub-trademarks of the Julia name, which are specifically its products. The foundation would also be able to grant sub-trademarks for things like your JADE product. We’ll get this sorted out in the next few months, and presumably your project won’t be commercial until then.

The Julia logo is a different story since that is protected by copyright (perhaps in addition to trademark) and I personally own this copyright as the original creator of the Julia logo. You have my permission to use the Julia logo and create works derived from it for non-commercial purposes. More broadly, we should figure out a creative commons license that’s appropriate for the Julia logo but still allows us to protect the project appropriately. Once the Julia Foundation (maybe NumFocus) exists and has the trademark, we can also transfer copyright of the logo there.


Juliar language
#5

For the time being I would suggest that I use the JADE name as an undefined acronym.


#6

“Jade” is such a pleasant word, and a popular first name, and the first letter of some less pleasing programming languages, so it’s no surprise that it’s already been well used, e.g. here or here. People googling “jade” won’t be short of search results…

Naming things is difficult, and important, but there’s plenty of tools to help: wordhippo is useful. For some divine inspiration you could find something using the hilarious godchecker.