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This document is intended to serve as a guide to referring to the LF Energy Foundation, a member organization’s participation, an individual code contributor’s participation, and the projects hosted by LF Energy in marketing and communication materials.
Relationship of LF Energy and its hosted projects
LF Energy is hosted by the Linux Foundation. As part of LF Energy’s charter, it hosts multiple open source projects and initiatives for the benefit of energy stakeholders. The latest list of projects is at https://wiki.lfenergy.org/display/HOME/Technical+Projects.
Each project hosted at LF Energy is self-governed with oversight by the LF Energy Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) as outlined in the charter and the TAC’s project lifecycle guidelines. The Linux Foundation is the legal entity that owns and manages the brand assets for the hosted projects. The copyrights in contributions to LF Energy’s hosted projects, such as source code and documentation, remain owned by the original authors and are licensed to the projects and downstream users under OSI approved open source licenses.
Why Consistency Matters
Open source projects use trademarks – such as the project’s name and logos – as ways to designate the project community and the community assets that are developed together in a public, collaborative fashion. A name or a logo communicates to the world that a codebase, or an event, or something else, reflects the collaborative open source project’s community and not any one single participant’s own offerings.
As a result, and because of some of the requirements that are necessary to preserve the project’s name and logos under trademark laws, the project aims to ensure consistency of usage to avoid confusion – especially, potential confusion in the delineation between what is provided by the project community, and what is a separate product or service offering provided by a participant, a contributor, or a downstream user or redistributor of the project code.
The project has in place some basic guidelines regarding proper and improper usage of its trademarks, with an aim towards balancing, on the one hand, the need to ensure that the project trademarks remain reliable indicators of the qualities that they have been created to preserve; and, on the other hand, the need to ensure that community members are able to discuss the project and to accurately describe the relationship between The Linux Foundation and LF Energy, and the products and services offered by others.
In addition to the generally applicable rules discussed in The Linux Foundation Trademark Usage Guidelines and The Linux Foundation Branding Guidelines, there are a few specific rules that we ask everyone to follow when using trademarks or project names related to any projects hosted by LF Energy, or LF Energy itself.
- Do mention LF Energy with the first reference to any LF Energy hosted project with content you create (such as website copy, press releases, blogs, or collateral) (e.g., “Project ABC, hosted by LF Energy”) and do use “LF Energy” or “Linux Foundation Energy” when referring to the organization (e.g., “XYZ Company is a member of Linux Foundation Energy”).
- When referring to an LF Energy hosted project, do use the full project name (e.g., “XYZ Company uses LF Energy’s Project ABC”). When there is a need to refer to an LF Energy project in a less verbose manner (such as in a social tile title, session title, or event title), please work with the LF Energy PR team for specific guidance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do help promote LF Energy in a vendor-neutral way. Where necessary to highlight the initial code contributor, you can use the name of the codebase followed by “the technology initially contributed by …” (e.g., “Project ABC, the technology initially contributed by …”); however, as described in further detail below, you should not state or imply that the project belongs to any single contributor.
- Don’t use “LF Energy” or any LF Energy hosted project name in a misleading way, such as:
- Don’t use any LF Energy hosted project name in connection with any products or services that are not related to, built for, or associated with the software projects hosted by LF Energy.
- Don’t use a company name possessively with an LF Energy hosted project (e.g., “XYZ Company’s LF Energy Project”, “XYZ Company’s Project ABC”, or “Project ABC by XYZ Company”).
- Don’t use “LF Energy” or an LF Energy hosted project name (1) in a way that creates a sense of endorsement, sponsorship, or false association with LF Energy (e.g., “LF Energy or Project ABC approved,” “LF Energy or Project ABC certified,” “a product by an LF Energy member”); or (2) in connection with a project that has not been accepted into the LF Energy organization; or (3) in connection with a product that is not a conformant offering (where defined in a project’s conformance program materials).
- Don’t deliberately give the impression that a company is the “main” company behind an LF Energy hosted project. Don’t associate LF Energy or an LF Energy hosted project with a single project or company.
- Don’t use a mark in a way that is otherwise harmful to the LF Energy organization, its members, or other projects.
- Don‘t use a mark to promote an event that is not managed/hosted by the Linux Foundation or LF Energy ( e.g., “EVerest Day at EVENTNAME”, “CoMPAS talk track” at an event, or “LF Energy Summit” at an event), without prior approval from LF Energy and compliance with any additional specific guidelines that the Project may provide.
- When using the LF Energy logo or the logo of an LF Energy hosted project, use only official artwork (which is publicly available at https://artwork.lfenergy.org). If you require modification of existing artwork for a specific campaign or piece of collateral, please contact email@example.com to discuss.
- If a project provides a logo for use in an icon format, note that its use is intended only for use where an icon is most appropriate (such as within an application). Please work with firstname.lastname@example.org to review if there are questions or concerns.
Do I need permission to talk publicly about LF Energy or the hosted projects?
No. Anyone is free to talk publicly about LF Energy and its hosted projects without restriction. All we ask is that, when you use the organization’s and projects’ names, logos and trademarks in connection with providing goods and services, that you do so in an appropriate manner that is consistent with maintaining the goodwill associated with them. To help ensure this, we do request you contact us at email@example.com for review for the following:
- All press releases that use LF Energy or an LF Energy hosted project trademark (registered or otherwise).
- Use of LF Energy brands on your own web pages in connection with a product or service offering.
- Marketing collateral within which you plan to use the words “LF Energy” or any of our project names or logos.