Intellectual Property

About the Holochain Patent

A U.S. patent was granted for the rrDHT networking innovations within Holochain. rrDHT is a peer-to-peer networking design implemented in Holochain that describes a system of nodes communicating according to a relaxed, agent-centric distributed hash table.

You can read more about the patent (number 10,951,697) in the original documentation: States Patent and Trademark Office website.

How to Use (& Not Use) the Holochain Trademark and Logo

For exact details on allowed use and limitations, see policy down below.

Do:

  • Use the image and the words “Powered by Holochain” - if you build a hApp on Holochain
  • Feel free to do mixups and memes with the Holochain logo
  • If you are showing affiliation or speaking about Holochain, you may use the logo - but only if your website or social post includes your own branding in a primary way

Don't:

  • Do not use the Holochain Logo on your website or social media in any way that a person may think it is official or endorsed
  • Do not reserve domain names or social media handles with the name
  • Do not use the name as part of a company name or as part of another trademark

Holochain Trademark Policy

Introduction

This document, the "Policy," outlines Holochain’s policy for the use of the trademarks associated with Holochain (the “Holochain marks”). While our software is available under a free and open source software license, the open source license does not grant the permission to use our trademarks.

Part of the value of Holochain is that all of its parts work together while still protecting user autonomy and privacy. For users, having the Holochain marks associated with a good or service is a promise that everything will work and that their rights will be respected. We cannot let the Holochain marks be used in a way that undermines that user promise or incorrectly implies a unique affiliation or association by a third party.

The sections that follow describe what trademarks are covered by this Policy, as well as uses of the trademarks that are allowed without additional permission from us. If you want to use our trademarks in ways that are not described in this Policy, please see "Where to get further information" below for contact information. Any use that does not comply with this Policy or for which we have not separately provided written permission is not a use that we have approved.

Our commitment to the community

We want to encourage everyone in our community to meaningfully participate and contribute. To the extent that requires some uses of the trademarks, we have granted explicit permission below. We also want to emphasize that we have placed Holochain and associated software under open source licenses, so that each community member has full control and capability. Nothing in this trademark policy restricts anyone’s ability to use the Holochain code further than what is included in the license.

Tradmarks subject to this Policy

This Policy encompasses all trademarks and service marks, whether Word Marks, Logos or Trade Dress, which are collectively referred to as the “Marks.” Some Marks may not be registered, but registration does not equal ownership of trademarks. This Policy covers our Marks whether they are registered or not. Specifically included are our Word Marks, Logos, and Trade Dress.

Our word trademarks and service marks (the "Word Marks"):

The following words apply to all services and products involving hosting, developing, building, operating and executing secure distributed applications:

  • Holochain

Our logos (the "Logos"):

The following logos are reserved for use by Holochain and licensed users:

holochain mark holochain word logo

In addition, Holochain also has rights in the unique visual styling of our website, blog, and other web properties (the "Trade Dress").

Tradmarks subject to this Policy

The Holochain foundation owns Holo Limited and Holo Ltd owns its respective trademarks which are described in the Holo Trademark Policy. That said, we will repeat some of the Holo limitations here. Specifically, the use of the term “Holo” alone, either as a word mark or as an image ( ) is not permitted except under the “Nominative use” guidelines found in the Holo policy.

The term “HoloPort” is also exclusively reserved for the preconfigured Holochain host computers sold by Holo, Ltd.

Contact us as described in "Where to get further information" below if you have questions or want to ask permission to use any of these excluded trademarks.

What you can do

Whenever you use one of the Marks, you must always do so in a way that does not mislead anyone, either directly or by omission, about exactly what they are getting and from whom. For example, you cannot say you are distributing Holochain software when you are distributing a modified version of it, because people would be confused when they are not getting the same features and functionality they would get if they downloaded the software directly from us. You cannot say you are distributing Holochain software when you are distributing your own application built using the Holochain framework.

In addition, you may not use the Marks in association with the use or distribution of software, including software designed to run using the Holochain framework, if you are also not in compliance with the copyright license for the software.

With those reservations, the following uses are always allowed:

Using the term “Holochain” to refer to the official distributed computing network run by Holo, Ltd.

Holochain is the open source framework for building fully distributed, cryptographically secure peer-to-peer applications. These distributed applications run in a network that allow users to interoperate based on a shared set of rules. When you refer to “Holochain” it must only refer to the peer-to-peer network using Holochain software or the Holochain Foundation. Even if another framework is created that uses the same principles, it cannot be referred to as Holochain.

Distribution of unmodified source code, executables we have compiled, or executables created using our reproducible build instructions

When you redistribute an unmodified copy of our software, you are not changing the quality or nature of it. Therefore, you may retain the Word Marks and the Logos we have placed on the software to identify your redistribution, regardless of how you distribute the software. This kind of use only applies if you are redistributing an official distribution from a Holochain owned property, or if the executable has been created using our reproducible build instructions so that it is identical to the software we distribute.

Describing the source of executable code that you have compiled, or modified code

You may use the Word Marks, but not the Logos, to truthfully describe the origin of the software that you are providing, that is, that the code you are distributing is a modification of our software. You may say, for example, that "this software is derived from the source code for Holochain software." It is best if you refer to the official location of the source code, at https://github.com/holochain/holochain.

Statements about compatibility, interoperability or derivation

You may use the Word Marks, but not the Logos, to truthfully describe the relationship between your software and ours. If it is your software, your name or Mark should come first. Our Mark should be used after a verb or preposition that describes the relationship between your software and ours. So you may say, for example, "Alice's software powered by Holochain" but may not say "Bob's Holochain software." Some other examples that may work for you are:

  • [Your software] works with Holochain or is built with Holochain
  • [Your software] uses the Holochain framework
  • [Your software] is compatible with other Holochain hApps
  • [Your software] is powered by Holochain
  • [Your software] runs on Holochain or
  • [Your software] is a hApp or a Holochain application

Use of trademarks to show community affiliation

You may use the Word Marks and the Logos in themes, personas, or skins for applications to show your support for the Project, provided that the use is the use is clearly decorative and links to official sources of Holo and Holochain products and services, as contrasted with a use that appears to be the branding for a website or application.

You may use the Word Marks and Logos, but not the Trade Dress, on your webpage to show your support for the Project as long as:

  • The website has branding that is easily distinguished from the Project Trade Dress;
  • Your own branding or naming is more prominent than any Project Marks;
  • The Logos hyperlink to the Project website;
  • The site does not mislead customers into thinking that either your website, service, or product is our website, service, or product; and
  • The site clearly states that you are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Project.

You agree that you will not acquire any rights in the Marks and that any goodwill generated by your use of the Marks inures solely to our benefit.

Uses for which we are granting a license

We are granting official permission – a license – for the uses below. Note that you must always do so in a way that does not mislead anyone, either directly or by omission, about exactly what they are getting and from whom.

Distribution of software preloaded on hardware

You may use the Word Marks and the Logos in association with hardware devices on the condition that the executable installed on the device is the official source executable for the Project, and that you do not suggest that the Project is the source of the hardware device itself but rather than the Marks are for the software incorporated into the device. You also cannot call the hardware device a “HoloPort.”

Publications and presentations

You can use the Word Marks in book and article titles, and the Logo in illustrations within the document, as long as the use does not suggest that we have published, endorse, or agree with your work.

User groups and email lists

You can use the Word Marks as part of your user group name provided that:

  • The main focus of the group is the software;
  • Any software or services the group provides are without cost;
  • The group does not make a profit;
  • Any charge to attend meetings are to cover the cost of the venue, food and drink only.

Examples are “The Chicago Holochain Users Group,” or a “Help with Holochain development” email list.

Uses that require permission

We will likely consider using the Marks in a software distribution that combines our software with any other software program an infringement of our Marks. We would consider your software "combined" with ours if you create a single executable for both software programs, as well as if by installing our software it automatically installs yours. We would not consider your software "combined" with ours if it is on the same media but requires separate, independent action to install it.

Promotional goods

"Promotional goods" are non-software goods that use the Marks and that are intended to advertise the Project, promote the Project, or show membership in the Project community. Creating and distributing or selling promotional goods is not allowed without permission from Holo. Contact [email protected] for permission.

Conferences

Creating a “Holo Conference” or “Holochain Conference” is not allowed without our permission. However, individual developers may create and give talks and tutorials on Holochain, hApp development, or similar topics at other conferences.

Uses that are never allowed

Some uses of the Holochain Marks are too confusing and they are never allowed. As a general rule, if anyone could be confused as to whether your work was officially associated with Holochain, then it will not be allowed. This includes:

Reservation of Holochain Marks on social media

You cannot use our logo on your website or on social media (such as Twitter) in a way that suggests that your site or account is an official website or that we endorse what you are saying. You can, though, say you like the Holochain software, that you participate in the Holochain community, that you are providing an unmodified version of some Holochain software, or that you wrote a book describing how to build with Holochain.

Use of the Holochain Marks as part of a domain name, company name, or non-Holochain trademark

You may not use or register, in whole or in part, the Marks as part of your own trademark, service mark, domain name, company name, trade name, product name or service name.

Trademark law does not allow your use of names or trademarks that are too much like ours. You therefore may not use an obvious variation of any of our Marks or any phonetic equivalent, foreign language equivalent, takeoff, or abbreviation for a similar or compatible product or service. Using the prefix holo- for any software not provided by Holo Ltd. is off limits.

General Information

Trademark marking and legends

The first or most prominent mention of a Mark on a webpage, document, packaging, or documentation should be accompanied by a symbol indicating whether the mark is a registered trademark ("®") or an unregistered trademark ("™"). See our Trademark List for the correct symbol to use. Also, if you are using our Marks in a way described in the sections "Uses for which we are granting a license," please put following notice at the foot of the page where you have used the Mark (or, if in a book, on the credits page), on any packaging or labeling, and on advertising or marketing materials: "Holochain is trademark of Holo Ltd., registered in the United States and other countries. Used with permission.”

What to do when you see abuse

If you are aware of any confusing use or misuse of the Marks in any way, we would appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Please contact us at [email protected] so that we can investigate it further.

Where to get further information

If you have any questions about this Policy, would like to speak with us about the use of our Marks in ways not described in the Policy, or see any abuse of our Marks, contact us at [email protected]

Note about the use of Logos

You may change the Logo by remixing, adding decorative elements, changing the colors, changing the proportions, distorting it, adding elements, or combining it with other logos. However when sharing those you may not represent yourself as Holochain in any other way according to this policy.

Parts of these guidelines were adapted from the Model Trademark Guidelines, available at http://www.modeltrademarkguidelines.org., used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en_US

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