Launching “Open Source Trademark Initiative” to comprehensively deal with the open-source trademark issues

TOKYO, Japan — November 30, 2020 — Open Source Group Japan (Chairman: Shuji Sado) is an organization that promotes the proliferation of open source and enlightenment activities, and we are proud to announce that we have launched Open Source TradeMark Initiative, with the participation of patent attorneys and lawyers, as a project that provides support to open source projects on registering and properly maintaining their trademarks.

For the development of free and fair open source trademark use, it is a critical and inevitable issue that open source projects properly register and maintain their trademarks. However, trademark-related rights, unlike copyrights, do not arise automatically from the creation of the work, but instead, trademarks need to be applied for and registered at the Patent Office in each country. It is not a simple task for project administrators to register and subsequently manage their trademarks themselves. In order to carry this out properly, it requires a suitably qualified lawyer or attorney to handle it. Moreover, the project may have to pay a significant amount of money until the registration is done and possibly more so for the maintenance afterward. On top of that, the trademark rights system grants the right holders an enormous right to exclusively and monopolistically use the trademarks, and therefore trademark maintenance and management demand legal expertise.

On that account, Open Source TradeMark Initiative will undertake the following initiatives.

  • 1. Provide support, including financial support, for raising awareness of and registering trademarks
  • 2. Create standard trademark licensing guidelines for the community
  • 3. Actively intervene in disputes
  • 4. Acquire, maintain, and manage trademarks commissioned and donated by the community

For more details about the initiatives of our project, visit the website below.

Through the initiatives at Open Source Trademark Initiative, Open Source Group Japan aims to create a better environment in which all parties can feel secure to use trademarks freely and fairly.

About Open Source Group Japan

Open Source Group Japan is an organization founded for the purpose of contributing to the sound development of the open-source community by engaging in activities to promote the proliferation and to raise awareness of open source software or free software, and to protect open-source activities from various obstacles imposed on open source projects. This organization was originally founded as a private organization in August 2000 and was reorganized into an incorporated association. URL: