Effective Date: August 13, 2019.
Welcome to the Trademark and Brand Policy (“Policy”) of the Stellar Development Foundation (the “SDF”, “we”, or “us”). This Policy describes the conditions under which you may use our trademarks and brands.
Why is this Policy necessary? While we encourage active and decentralized innovation on the Stellar platform, we want to ensure that our community has a consistent and high-quality experience with the Stellar brand. Our having a definitive brand policy helps everyone in the ecosystem avoid and stop scammers that might use the Stellar name to steal, defraud, or mislead.
Fundamentally, trademarks are meant to eliminate confusion; a protection that is in everyone’s interest. For example, if somebody forked the Bitcoin network and called it Stellar 2.0, many members of our community would be confused to say the least. We would enforce the Stellar trademark forcefully in this instance.
On the other hand, suppose someone released a high-quality wallet app for lumens and Stellar tokens and wanted the tagline to be “Powered by Stellar™”. We of course want to encourage this type of innovation. In this case, provided the software team contacted us in advance, we would likely allow our mark to be used.
If you would like to use any of the Stellar Marks (explained below) in a manner that is not expressly permitted by this Policy, please contact us directly at [email protected]. We all share the same end goal: making the Stellar network a thriving global payment rail, and we want this brand policy to further our shared work, not impede it.
We value the trust that our community has placed in our team and technology. We protect our trademark rights to ensure that the Stellar name stands for both quality and integrity, both today and in the future.
Note that our brand policy does not categorically forbid our community from using the Stellar Marks. In fact, we encourage the members of our community to use the Stellar Marks, so long as they do so in an acceptable and consistent manner.
Generally speaking, you may use the Stellar Marks so long as you don’t:
- Confuse consumers or users of the Stellar software or participants of the Stellar community;
- Make false or misleading statements;
- Imply or state that the use is affiliated with or authorized by the Stellar Development Foundation, unless you’ve obtained written permission beforehand;
- Imply an endorsement or sponsorship with the Stellar Development Foundation, unless you’ve obtained written permission beforehand; or
- Damage or diminish the reputation and goodwill of Stellar technology, the Stellar Development Foundation, and the Stellar Marks.
The Stellar Marks are any and all marks, symbols, and trademarks owned or used by the Stellar Development Foundation, including but not limited to:
- our “Stellar” word trademark;
- our “Lumens” word mark;
- our “Stellar Rocket” design mark:
- our “Stellar Circle” design mark:
For context, the term “trademark” includes any word, name, symbol, or device (or any combination of those) that is used by a person or entity to:
- Identify and distinguish their goods and services from those offered by others, and/or
- Indicate the source or origin of those goods and services
You may use the Stellar Marks to express your affinity for our products in a truthful, personal, and non-commercial manner – for example on t-shirts, stickers, and other things that you share with your friends.
Whenever you make use of a Stellar Mark this way, please feel free to send us a sample – we’d love to see what you’re doing! If you want to make a commercial use of these kinds of items though (for example, selling stickers or apparel bearing our Stellar Marks), you must obtain our written permission first.
You may not use the Stellar Marks in, or as a part of, any trade name, trademark, domain name, internet account name, or social media name without prior written consent from Stellar Development Foundation.
For example, the business name or trademark “Stellar Tech Support,” or the Twitter handle “@StellarTechSupport,” are not permitted, because consumers who see those uses are likely to assume that they are official Stellar services or accounts.
By the same token, the domain name “StellarTechSupport.com,” or the Facebook group “Stellar Tech Support,” would also be likely to cause confusion. If you’d like to use the Stellar Marks in, or as a part of, any trade name, trademark, domain name, or internet account name, please contact us to discuss your planned use.
All of Stellar Development Foundation’s software offerings are provided on a free and open source basis, meaning that you can alter and modify our source code to better suit your needs. All of the Stellar source code is governed by the Apache 2.0 license.
However, note that software trademarks and brands are designed to designate the provider of the software. In that respect, software that you have modified and that you provide is different from the software that is provided by the Stellar Development Foundation. Therefore, you may not brand derivative software in a manner that might cause confusion as to its source or origin. For example, if you fork our Stellar software, you may not distribute the modified software under the Stellar brand, or under any Stellar Mark.
If you offer goods or services that are related to Stellar goods or services – for example, if you offer support services for users of the Stellar network – you may use Stellar’s word marks (but not logos or design marks, unless otherwise authorized in writing) to truthfully describe your offering in your descriptions. However, this is conditional on that you do not purposefully, accidentally, negligently, or inadvertently mislead or confuse customers into thinking that your offering is:
- An official Stellar Development Foundation offering,
- Sponsored/endorsed by Stellar Development Foundation, or
- Otherwise affiliated with Stellar Development Foundation.
For example, you may truthfully market your product as, “Using the Stellar network to connect customers,” or “Independent support services for Stellar network implementation.” By contrast, an unauthorized description of the same product would be, “Stellar customer connector,” or “Stellar network implementation services,” because those formations are likely to cause confusion as to who precisely is providing the services.
Here are some helpful tips on lowering the risk of confusion:
- Place your brand (or a description of your offering) before a Stellar Mark or in a more prominent manner.
- Use the terms “unofficial” or “independent” in your brand or description to inform consumers that your offerings are different from those of the Stellar Development Foundation.
- When in doubt, err on the side of providing more, rather than less, explanation and information to users and prospective users, because additional information can help ensure that your offering does not confuse consumers.
- If you offer software or services that are related to Stellar software or services, you must provide a prominent statement that your software or service is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the Stellar Development Foundation.
If you’d like to use the Stellar Marks in a way that’s not covered by this Policy, or if you have any questions regarding this Policy, feel free to contact us at [email protected].
The following general requirements apply to all uses of the Stellar Marks for which you have received permission, either through this Policy or through a license from Stellar.
- Use the Precise Mark. Stellar’s trademarks should be used in their exact, most up-to-date form. They should neither be abbreviated nor combined with other words.
- Acceptable: Stellar
- Unacceptable: StellarBlockchain
- Unacceptable: STR
- Use the Stellar Circle Mark. If you are going to use a Stellar design mark, please use the new “Stellar Circle” mark instead of the old “Stellar Rocketship” mark.
- Use it as a Trademark. Trademarks, including the Stellar Marks, are adjectives, and when used should always be followed by the generic term they modify, such as “software,” “network,” or “product.” Never use a trademark as a noun, verb, or other part of speech.
- Acceptable: I created a smart contract using the Stellar software platform,
- Unacceptable: I used Stellar.
- Designate it as a Mark. The first or most prominent mention of a Stellar Mark should be accompanied by a ™ symbol, to indicate that it is a trademark.
- Attribute the Mark. The following notice text should appear somewhere nearby your first or most prominent mention of a Stellar Mark. If that’s not practical, you may include it on the credits page instead:
“Stellar” is a trademark of the Stellar Development Foundation. All rights reserved.
You must use graphic Stellar Marks (including logos and design marks) in the form in which it is made available by Stellar. To avoid confusion, you may not alter the color, font, proportions, or any other aspect of our logos and design marks without our prior consent.
You must also set a logo or design mark off from the other content appearing in your use, and must not place it in such close proximity to other content that it is indistinguishable from that other content.
Except in connection with the personal, non-commercial uses permitted by this Policy, you may not make our logo or design mark the most prominent feature of your use.
Please report any misuse of the Stellar Marks to [email protected], and provide us with as much information as you can about the use you think may be infringing. We’ll investigate the use, and take appropriate action, if warranted.
Lastly, we have some necessary legalese. Please note that, no matter how authorized, any goodwill generated by the use of the Stellar Marks shall inure solely to the benefit of Stellar. This Policy supplements and is in addition to the terms of any other permission we may have granted you regarding use of our trademarks and brands.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding!