Intellectual property rights policy

What’s new? On 14th May 2013 we updated our trademark policy and renamed it the “intellectual property rights policy”.

Why? We want to ensure that anyone using Canonical’s intellectual property does so in compliance with Canonical’s rights. As such, we have redrafted the existing policy to more clearly identify what intellectual property rights Canonical has and to clarify and simplify the language. In particular, we have clarified Canonical’s position with respect to the redistribution of Ubuntu.

What’s changed? Essentially nothing. We’re just making things clearer.

Please read the updated intellectual property rights policy to find out more.

Welcome to Canonical’s IPRights Policy. This policy is published by Canonical Limited (Canonical, we, us and our) under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA version 3.0 UK licence.

Canonical owns and manages certain intellectual property rights in Ubuntu and other associated intellectual property (Canonical IP) and licenses the use of these rights to enterprises, individuals and members of the Ubuntu community in accordance with this IPRights Policy.

Your use of Canonical IP is subject to:

  • Your acceptance of this IPRights Policy;
  • Your acknowledgement that Canonical IP is the exclusive property of Canonical and can only be used with Canonical’s permission (which can be revoked at any time); and
  • You taking all reasonable steps to ensure that Canonical IP is used in a manner that does not affect either the validity of such Canonical IP or Canonical’s ownership of Canonical IP in any way; and that you will transfer any goodwill you derive from them to Canonical, if requested.

Ubuntu is a trusted open source platform. To maintain that trust we need to manage the use of Ubuntu and the components within it very carefully. This way, when people use Ubuntu, or anything bearing the Ubuntu brand, they can be assured that it will meet the standards they expect. Your continued use of Canonical IP implies your acceptance and acknowledgement of this IPRights Policy.

1. Summary

  • You can download, install and receive updates to Ubuntu for free.
  • You can modify Ubuntu for personal or internal commercial use.
  • You can redistribute Ubuntu, but only where there has been no modification to it.
  • You can use our copyright, patent and design materials in accordance with this IPRights Policy.
  • You can be confident and can trust in the consistency of the Ubuntu experience.
  • You can rely on the standard expected of Ubuntu.

2. Your use of Ubuntu

  • You can download, install and receive updates to Ubuntu for free.

    Ubuntu is freely available to all users for personal, or in the case of organisations, internal use. It is provided for this use without warranty. All implied warranties are disclaimed to the fullest extent permitted at law.

  • You can modify Ubuntu for personal or internal use.

    You can make changes to Ubuntu for your own personal use or for your organisation’s own internal use.

  • You can redistribute Ubuntu, but only where there has been no modification to it.

    You can redistribute Ubuntu in its unmodified form, complete with the installer images and packages provided by Canonical (this includes the publication or launch of virtual machine images).

    Any redistribution of modified versions of Ubuntu must be approved, certified or provided by Canonical if you are going to associate it with the Trademarks. Otherwise you must remove and replace the Trademarks and will need to recompile the source code to create your own binaries. This does not affect your rights under any open source licence applicable to any of the components of Ubuntu. If you need us to approve, certify or provide modified versions for redistribution you will require a licence agreement from Canonical, for which you may be required to pay. For further information, please contact us (as set out below).

    We do not recommend using modified versions of Ubuntu which are not modified in accordance with this IPRights Policy. Modified versions may be corrupted and users of such modified systems or images may find them to be inconsistent with the updates published by Canonical to its users. If they use the Trademarks, they are in contravention of this IPRights Policy. Canonical cannot guarantee the performance of such modified versions. Canonical’s updates will be consistent with every version of Ubuntu approved, certified or provided by Canonical.

3. Your use of our trademarks

Canonical’s Trademarks (registered in word and logo form) include:

UBUNTU KUBUNTU EDUBUNTU
XUBUNTU JUJU LANDSCAPE
  • You can use the Trademarks, in accordance with Canonical’s brand guidelines, with Canonical’s permission in writing. If you require a Trademark licence, please contact us (as set out below).
  • You will require Canonical’s permission to use: (i) any mark ending with the letters UBUNTU or BUNTU which is sufficiently similar to the Trademarks or any other confusingly similar mark, and (ii) any Trademark in a domain name or URL or for merchandising purposes.
  • You cannot use the Trademarks in software titles. If you are producing software for use with or on Ubuntu you may reference Ubuntu, but must avoid: (i) any implication of endorsement, or (ii) any attempt to unfairly or confusingly capitalise on the goodwill of Canonical or Ubuntu.
  • You can use the Trademarks in discussion, commentary, criticism or parody, provided that you do not imply endorsement by Canonical.
  • You can write articles, create websites, blogs or talk about Ubuntu, provided that it is clear that you are in no way speaking for or on behalf of Canonical and that you do not imply endorsement by Canonical.

Canonical reserves the right to review all use of Canonical’s Trademarks and to object to any use that appears outside of this IPRights Policy.

4. Your use of our copyright, patent and design materials

  • You can only use Canonical’s copyright materials in accordance with the copyright licences therein and this IPRights Policy.
  • You cannot use Canonical’s patented materials without our permission.

Copyright

The disk, CD, installer and system images, together with Ubuntu packages and binary files, are in many cases copyright of Canonical (which copyright may be distinct from the copyright in the individual components therein) and can only be used in accordance with the copyright licences therein and this IPRights Policy.

Patents

Canonical has made a significant investment in the Open Invention Network, defending Linux, for the benefit of the open source ecosystem. Additionally, like many open source projects, Canonical also protects its interests from third parties by registering patents. You cannot use Canonical’s patented materials without our permission.

Trade dress and look and feel

Canonical owns intellectual property rights in the trade dress and look and feel of Ubuntu (including the Unity interface), along with various themes and components that may include unregistered design rights, registered design rights and design patents, your use of Ubuntu is subject to these rights.

5. Logo use guidelines

Canonical’s logos are presented in multiple colours and it is important that their visual integrity be maintained. It is therefore preferable that the logos should only be used in their standard form, but if you should feel the need to alter them in any way, you should following the guidelines set out below.

6. Use of Canonical IP by the Ubuntu community

Ubuntu is built by Canonical and the Ubuntu community. We share access rights owned by Canonical with the Ubuntu community for the purposes of discussion, development and advocacy. We recognise that most of the open source discussion and development areas are for non-commercial purposes and we therefore allow the use of Canonical IP in this context, as long as there is no commercial use and that the Canonical IP is used in accordance with this IPRights Policy.

7. Contact us

Please contact us:

  • if you have any questions or would like further information on our IPRights Policy, Canonical or Canonical IP;
  • if you would like permission from Canonical to use Canonical IP;
  • if you require a licence agreement; or
  • to report a breach of our IPRights Policy.

Please note that due to the volume of mail we receive, it may take up to a week to process your request.

8. Changes

We may make changes to this IPRights Policy from time to time. Please check this IPRights Policy from time to time to ensure that you are in compliance.