Google’s “Open Usage Commons Helps Open Source Projects Manage Trademarks


INTRO: Google has recently announced the Open Usage Commons – an organization that focuses on “extending the philosophy and definition of open source to project trademarks.” The organization is formulated in collaboration with all the academic leaders, with the independent contributors, and SADA Systems.

The Open Usage Commons aims to create neutral and independent ownership for trademarks. This approach is seen as a step to improve and push transparency forward. The organization will offer programs such as trademark management and usage guidelines to help open-source projects protect their identity.

Google's Open Usage Commons Helps Open Source Projects Manage ...

“Trademarks sit at the juncture of the rule of law and the philosophy of open source, a complicated space; for this reason, we consider it to be the next challenge for open source, one we want to help with,” wrote Chris DiBona, Director, Open Source at Google.

In fact, the projects that are part of Open Usage Commons will receive support regarding trademark protection and management, usage guidelines, and conformance testing.

To get started, Google has offered initial funding and trademarks for three projects namely Angular, Gerrit, and Istio. Angular is a web application framework, while Gerrit is used for code-collaboration and Istio is a platform dedicated to microservices. Google clarifies that you can continue using the trademarks of any of these projects if you’re using them.

The board of directors in Open Usage Commons include Allison Randal, Charles L. Isbell, Jr., Cliff Lampe, Chris DiBona, Jen Phillips, and Miles Ward. With this initiative, the organization aims to give trademarks of participating projects a neutral, independent home. Moreover, it promises to manage trademarks in line with the Open Source Definition.


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