OSH logo, licensing from OSI

Hi Gus,

You may want to become involved in this conversation (or at least add your thoughts to the comments in the SparkFun thread).


Hopefully positive results for the OSH community come out of the conversation, clearing up the legal issues surrounding use of the OSH logo.


I have seen that buy have seen the discussion? An Important Question on the Open Source Hardware Mark – Open Source Hardware Association

The discussion is hot and not very friendly from some people. I think it is best if we talk to the right people and in person. GHI is a sponsor of the open source summit and will be there to see how we can help.

I will check with our team to see if they want to add a note to that discussion.

Still, thanks for the note.

Reply posted

[quote]This is Gus Issa from GHI electronics. We have been using the open source logo on about 50 different circuit boards that we produce and sell. We even encouraged our community to add the logo to their design. I do not have exact figures but we have sold thousands of boards with OSHW logo and we have thousands in stock as well. Also, there are numerous boards made by the community that have the OSHW logo.

What I am trying to say is that, for us, changing the logo will be impossible at this point. Not only will cause us huge losses but also discourage us, other companies and community members from using any new OSHW logo.

For us and our community, the answer is defiantly License the open source hardware ‘gear logo from OSI. Of course, we expect OSI to really simplify this process. All we want, OSHW and us followers, is to share our work with the world in good faith.

Gus Issa, CEO
GHI Electronics[/quote]


Let me get this right…

The Open Source Initiative logo is not open source?

It’s a trademark, and therefore, under US trademark rules, must vigorously defend it or lose it.

Oh god! Take a look guys, someone is trying to register “open source hardware” trademark OPEN SOURCE HARDWARE Trademark - Serial Number 85326591 :: Justia Trademarks

From now on we will call this “non-closed source hardware”…oh wait, some one may register this one too!!!

We got into “open source” to share the “open mentality”. I hope this is not a thing we would regret down the road… “pay us $$$ because you are making your boards open source!”

I am sure many people are working on this and hopefully it will never be the case but if this happens then the community will lose a lot of support, from hackers and companies alike.

Tens of people asked us to register patents for the work we do, like RLP for example. My answer was always “never”! It is sad to see what is patented, you probably can’t pick your nose without paying a license!

… just sad!

Wow… Their description of “goods & services” doesn’t even mention hardware.

I’m mostly shocked that these weren’t already trademarked and made openly available by one of the organizing OSHW parties. These terms and logos have been in use worldwide for several years now. I would hope that would prevent anyone from being able to trademark it now but I’m no attorney…

Sad indeed…

Seems like GHI should have designer their own OH logo.

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It’s a sad fact that patent trolling and trademarking are the tools of some nefarious companies to make money. Made all the more real by apple taking on the world etc etc

I completely agree, but I also think it’s important to protect a logo. If you don’t protect it actively, you loose all rights. A logo like the OSI logo, must not be placed on closed source products. Therefor it’s important to protect it; to be sure it can’t be abused.

From what I have read from the OSHWA is that there is no conflict, just a legal issue. I think they can come to an agreement where they license this kind of usage of the logo. And keep in mind, a license doesn’t need to cost a thing. As long as it’s legally covered, so both the OSHWA and OSI can put claims on mis-usage of their logos.

We live in a world where it’s required to protect our ideas, our investments. Regretfully :slight_smile:

Totally agree. I really hope that they can come to an agreement before someone grabs it (see Gus’s post #5)
I must admit that the current fashion for litigation between tech giants that amounts in part to playground hand bagging is setting a precident. There are soooo many companies out there whose sole purpose is to patent ideas and grab trademarks and never turn out a product based on the fact that at some point someone is going to fall foul and therefore generate income.
I blame the lawyers myself, vampires the lot them!
Rant over :wink: