Clarifications to Qt Trademark Fair Use Policy

Published Tuesday March 18th, 2014 | by

The use of Qt is on an upward spiral and a great deal of activity is visible with hundreds of Qt-powered products on the market today, scores of Qt learning books and various global Qt activities taking place on a constant basis. We are grateful for the support with pushing Qt forward. In that respect, in order to make sure that the Qt brand is represented consistently and within the terms of the Qt fair use policy and the Qt Trademark policy, I would like to remind you of a few guidelines that need to be followed and clarify a few items to make sure your use of the Qt name and the logo is used correctly.

The use of Qt trademarks is governed by trademark policy, brand guidelines, and trademark license. These are created in order to keep the Qt brand consistent and protect it from misuse. We have recently noticed that in some cases people are not well aware what is allowed and what is prohibited by the trademark policy. We, therefore, would like to clarify the fair use policy a bit.

First a quick summary on use of the Qt trademarks:

  • Limited use of Qt word mark is allowed under fair use policy as defined in the trademark policy
  • If you have a product made with Qt or to be used in conjunction with Qt, recommendation is to make the trademark license with us
  • Use of Qt logo always requires you to make the trademark license with us

Examples of fair use of the Qt trademarks (for more information, please refer to the trademark policy)

  • To specifically refer to Qt products, e.g. Qt software is an application service framework software.
  • To refer to an application created with Qt software where the Qt name is not being used in a way which suggests sponsorship or endorsement of the product.
  • To refer to new Qt ports that are part of the Qt Project e.g. Qt for Windows®, Qt for Android®.
  • To refer to tools created for use with Qt e.g. ABC Tool for Qt.
  • In articles about the Qt software or Qt Project or other Qt products.

It should be noted that the fair use does not override the items that are listed in the prohibited use of the trademark policy. In case you are planning to use Qt trademarks in a manner covered by the fair use, please remember to also check the prohibited use. If the way you plan to use the Qt trademarks is listed under prohibited use, you, therefore,  do not have the right to use it as so.

Examples of prohibited use (for more information, please refer to the trademark policy):

  • Use of the Qt trademark in conjunction with your company name or another name
  • Use of the Qt trademarks as the whole or part of your domain names.
  • Use of the Qt trademarks as meta tags.
  • Use of the Qt trademarks as part of your company name or logo.
  • Use of the Qt trademarks in a manner that suggests endorsement or sponsorship of your products or services.
  • Use of the Qt trademarks on the cover of a book or publication without an express written license.
  • Use of the Qt trademarks on promotional or marketing materials such as posters, brochures, signs, websites to promote your events, products or services without express written permission.
  • Use of the Qt logo or Qt slogan without an express written license.
  • Use of the Qt trademarks in a manner that is false, misleading or would disparage, denigrate or otherwise be detrimental to the Qt trade marks, the reputation of the Qt Project, Digia or its products or services.

If you are already using the Qt trademark in your work and activities and are unsure of your use, please send an email to legal@qt-project.org and we will happily help you assess your use. There may cases where there are uncertainties between what is in the fair use policy and how they relate to the items listed under “prohibited” use in the trademark policy. In such cases, again, please send us an email and we help you with the correct path to take.

Upcoming minor changes to the trademark policy

I would also like to take this opportunity to notify that we are planning to do some minor clarifications to the trademark policy. The updated trademark policy will be in force after 30 days, you can take a look of the modified policy here.

Clarifications in the new policy compared to the current one are:

  • The Qt ports should be part of the Qt Project
  • Fair use in conjunction with applications and tools covers both open-source projects as well as products created with commercially licensed Qt
  • Mention about possibly upcoming click-to-accept trademark license removed

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Also note that this blog post is not the policy, just a reminder about it. For any details refer to the trademark policy.

In case you wish to use the Qt marks in a way that is not covered by fair use, for example to promote your products, contact us so that we can agree upon a suitable trademark license and possible other activities.  It should be noted that the fair use is not intended to be wide and cover all possible areas. The fair use is especially not intended for using the Qt trademarks to promote your products.  For that purpose, you should enter into trademark license agreement with us and possibly also agree on joint marketing activities, perhaps even become a Digia Qt Partner.

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Posted in Community, Licensing, Open Governance, Qt

9 comments to Clarifications to Qt Trademark Fair Use Policy

Lilian says:

It got even more confusing.
What I get from this is better not to use any Q references or you might have legal problems.
“Use of the Qt logo or Qt slogan without an express written license.” – so many applications out there use 1 or both of these to promote Q(in About for example), all are supposed to apply for a license?

Xenakios says:

I am wondering this myself about the About box thing…On the other hand, they elsewhere IIRC require or strongly recommend mentioning Qt is used when using the LGPL license option. The About box is IMHO the most obvious place to put that mention in. (Or do I remember wrong about the LGPL thing…?)

7 says:

“It got even more confusing.”

Amen, I was completely discouraging mentioning the Qt “trademark” anywhere in my applications after reading this pile of nonsense.

Ian Monroe says:

Well due to LGPL requirements of parts of Qt, you are actually required to talk about Qt in the About box for commercial apps (for eg QtWebKit).

But that pretty clearly falls under “To refer to an application created with Qt software where the Qt name is not being used in a way which suggests sponsorship or endorsement of the product.”

Compare the Qt policy to the Debian trademark policy: https://www.debian.org/trademark

Flamaros says:

Is it considered as fare use to put thanks words in the credit or about screen of a commercial application?

Tuukka Turunen says:

@Flamaros: Yes.

Jason says:

You guys should make some Qt shirts, like a nice polo with embroidered Qt logo I can wear to work

Tuukka Turunen says:

@Jason: True. Now we mostly just give away the Qt T-shirts at events.

Commenting closed.