1. Introduction and permission to use
This document (the "Policy") outlines the Cardano Foundation’s project (the "Project") policy for the use of our trademarks (the "Marks" are further detailed in Appendix 1 of this Policy). While our protocol is available under a free and open source software copyright licence, the copyright licence does not include an express or implied right or licence to use our Marks. If you would like further information about our rights, these can be made available on request.
The purpose of this Policy is not intended to limit the lawful use of our Marks. The purpose of this Policy is to prevent confusion amongst the community (and public at large) as to what we deem an appropriate use of our Marks and limit any misleading or damaging use of them. We also want to avoid any confusion about who are our official partners at the time of publication of this Policy. The official partners who are involved in this Project are:
1) The Cardano Foundation Zug, which is responsible for standardising, protecting, and promoting the Cardano technology;
2) Input Output Hong Kong (or IOHK*) which is responsible for building the Cardano blockchain technology; and
3) Emurgo which is the commercial partner fostering the Cardano application ecosystem (together the "Cardano Partners")
We want to extend the use of our Marks as widely as possible insofar that such use is aligned with the Project and its core mission values to standardise, protect and promote the Cardano Protocol technology (the “Values”). This Policy describes what trademarks are covered by these guidelines, as well as uses of our Marks that are allowed without additional permission from us. If you want to use our Marks, or any other aspect of the Cardano brand, in ways that are not described in this Policy, please contact us for further information.
We want to encourage and facilitate the use of our Marks by the community since the Cardano Project was built in a spirit of collaboration. However, we want to do so in a way that still ensures that our Marks are meaningful as a source and quality indicator for the Cardano protocol (the “Protocol”) and any associated products and services continue to embody the Protocol’s the high reputation. This Policy therefore tries to strike the proper balance between: 1) our need to ensure that our Marks remain reliable indicators of the qualities that they are meant to preserve, and 2) our Cardano community members' desire to be full participants in the Project.
Notwithstanding this Policy, we reserve the right to withdraw any permission and/or amend, challenge or restrict any use of our Marks where we consider that such use amounts to a violation of this Policy or any use that we view as detrimental to the Project.
2. Trademarks and usage
The Marks that are covered in this Policy, from time to time, are owned by the Cardano Foundation, UID CHE-184.477.354, with registered address located at: Dammstrasse 16, 6300 Zug, Switzerland (further details of our Marks including any up-to-date information, such as registration details, are available on request here). The Marks comprise of Word Marks, Logos, and a combination of both, and are listed at Appendix 1.
Some of our marks may not be registered, but effective use of a trademark may give rise to parallel unregistered rights in accordance with the law of the applicable jurisdiction. This Policy covers our Marks whether they are registered or not and we may revise this Policy as appropriate from time to time in order to provide the Cardano community with an up to date account of the Marks. This Policy and the rules contained herein are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check this agreement periodically for changes.
2.1. Universal considerations and rules of use
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. The law reflects this requirement in two major ways described in more detail below: it prohibits creating a "likelihood of confusion" but allows for "nominative use". For example, you cannot say you are distributing the Cardano blockchain software code (the "Cardano Code") when you're distributing a modified version of it, because people would be confused because they are not getting the same features and functionality they would get if they downloaded the software directly from us. On the other hand, you may use our Marks to indicate that your product is compatible with the Cardano Code or that your product accepts ‘ADA’ payments or is compatible with 'ADAPAY’, for example.
You also cannot use our Marks on your website in a way that suggests that your website is an official website of the Protocol or that the Cardano Partners endorse your website unless this is true. You can, though, say you like the Cardano Code, that you participate in the Cardano community and ecosystem, that you are providing an unmodified version of the Cardano Code, or that you wrote a book describing how to getting started using the Cardano Code.
This fundamental requirement, that it is always clear to people what they are getting and from whom, is reflected throughout this Policy. It should also serve as your guide if you are not sure about how you are using the Marks.
With the exception of the "nominative fair use" of the Marks, your use of our Marks is subject to the following rules (irrespective of whether you received automatic or explicit permission for use):
2.2. Rules for use:
2.2.1. Any use of the Marks indicates acceptance of this Policy;
2.2.2. Wherever possible, the Marks should be accompanied by the trademark symbol ™ and the following text (or an appropriate translation), for example:
“Cardano™ is a trademark of the Cardano Foundation, CHE-184.477.354”
“Cardano™ is a trademark of Cardano Foundation, CHE-184.477.354, Dammstrasse 16, 6300 Zug, Switzerland, in Switzerland and other countries”
For materials in which only the Logo is displayed or both the Logo and the Word Mark (Cardano) are displayed:
“Cardano™ and the Cardano Logo™ are trademarks of Cardano Foundation, CHE-184.477.354, Dammstrasse 16, 6300 Zug, Switzerland, in Switzerland and other countries”;
In particular, a ™ should not be changed to an ® in a trademark notice by anyone other than the owner. If you are unsure about whether our Marks are registered in your country, please contact us for additional guidance as to what trademark symbol you should use.
Use of the Marks that is strictly prohibited:
2.2.3 You may not alter the Word Marks or Logos, such as changing the proportions of the design elements or the design itself, rearrange the spacing, alignment, or relative locations of the design elements (you may resize as appropriate but must retain all proportions);
2.2.4 You may not, under any circumstances, use the Word Marks or Logos for illegal, defamatory or humiliating purposes, or any other purpose that may negatively impact the reputation of the Cardano Protocol, Cardano Code, or the Cardano Partners;
2.2.5 You may not incorporate and or combine the Word Marks or Logos into a third party company’s marks, names, and or logos without prior written permission by Cardano Foundation;
2.2.6 You may not use the Cardano Word Marks or Logos in a manner that is not truthful and fair, or in a manner that may be derogatory, deceptive or misleading;
2.2.7 You may not use the Marks in ways that imply a greater level of sponsorship by or affiliation with Cardano Foundation and or any of the other Cardano Partner than actually exists;
2.2.8 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 in any part of the world;
2.2.9 You may not use the Marks in association with the use or distribution of any software if you are also not in compliance with the copyright licence for that software;
2.2.10 Trademark law does not allow your use of names or trademarks that are too similar to ours. You therefore may not use, or otherwise register, 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 in any part of the world.
2.2.11 Any use the Marks not permitted by this Policy requires advance written permission of the Cardano Foundation. If you are unsure whether a use is permitted, please contact us for guidance.
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 the benefit of the Cardano Partners.
3. Permission for use
Written permission from Cardano Foundation is required to use the Marks as part of your project or associated assets. For further information about how you can obtain our permission to use our Marks you can contact us here.
3.1. Use that does not require written approval
In some special cases, we will grant automatic permission for a project to use the Marks. Explicit permission to use the Mark is not required when a project meets the following criteria:
You exclusively use the Marks to either extend or improve the Cardano Code, or to encourage the use of the Cardano Code (in short — "foster the Cardano Protocol Blockchain software"), provided such use does not imply an official sponsorship or endorsement by the Cardano Partners and only where this Policy is strictly observed.
- Permitted use: An open access, free monthly newsletter called "Cardano Weekly”
- Permitted use: A freely distributed Cardano theme called "Gold Plated Cardano"
- Not permitted: A Cardano fork called eg. "A Non-Sucky Version of Cardano”
- Not permitted: Selling T-shirts with the Cardano logo to raise money for another cause
The Marks are used in a domain name, title of website, seminar, software package, book, magazine or video that is exclusively intended to support the Cardano Code and Project, provided it does not imply an official sponsorship or endorsement by the Cardano Partners and only where this Policy is strictly observed.
- Permitted use: A non-commercial website called: howtoinstallcardano.com
- Permitted use: A keynote called “Getting Started with Cardano”
- Requires Permission: A book titled “The Official Cardano Blockchain Guide”
- Requires Permission: A commercial website called cardanohosting.com
You want to display the official Cardano logo (whether for commercial or non-commercial use) in a standalone and unaltered form, provided it does not imply an official sponsorship or endorsement by the Cardano Partners and only where this Policy is strictly observed.
- Permitted use: Putting the Cardano Logo on your product packaging after you have and obtained our prior permission to do so
- Not permitted: Changing the colours or shape of the Cardano logo for your purposes
You want to use the Marks in a descriptive manner to describe your product or services provided it does not imply an official sponsorship or endorsement by the Cardano Partners and only where this Policy is strictly observed.
- Permitted use: referring to your services as specialising in Cardano development
- Permitted use: Input Output HK (IOHK*) Cardano Developers
- Not permitted: referring to yourself as “The Official Cardano Consultant” or “Certified Cardano Consultant" (this does not apply to the Cardano Partners who may refer to themselves as Cardano Consultants)
The press and media may make fair use of the Marks in reporting regarding its activities, function, research and products and publications. This also applies to any reporting about the activities of the Cardano Partners and where the use of the Marks is necessary
3.2. Events and Meet-Ups
You may use the Marks for the title of an event, camp or meet-up, but not in any manner that may imply official sponsorship or endorsement by the Cardano Partners, unless such official sponsorship or endorsement exists. For example, using words like “conference” or, shorthand, “conf” and “foundation” may imply a degree of formality that could be construed by the Cardano community that an official sponsorship or endorsement subsists. Accordingly, and where no such relationship exists between you and the Cardano Partners, we require that you refrain from adopting this terminology in conjunction with your use of the Marks in order to avoid confusion about the nature of the event.
You may use the Marks in connection with events, camps, and/or meet-ups provided that you strictly observe this Policy (including our rules of use set out in paragraph 2.2 and the requirements of this paragraph 3.2) and you follow the following requirements:
3.2.1. Your use of the Marks at the event, camp or meet-up reflects favourably on the products and services offered by the Cardano Partners and on the Cardano Protocol;
3.2.2. A disclaimer of sponsorship, affiliation or endorsement by Cardano Foundation, similar to the following, is included on the publication of all event, camp or meet-up related electronic and or print marketing materials:
"This [EVENT] is independent of the Cardano Foundation and the other Cardano Partners and has not been endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise officially approved by them or their affiliates. Nothing presented at this [EVENT] constitutes financial or investment advice or is intended to be construed as financial advice provided by the Cardano Foundation or the Cardano Partners";
3.2.3. Your name, and or name of the event, feature more prominently than your use of our Marks, where applicable, and on electronic and print materials at material all times;
3.2.4. The event is located at an appropriate location and is hosted in accordance with applicable laws of the relevant jurisdiction, including but not limited to health and safety regulations.
- Permitted use: Cardano Annual Meetup 2018
- Permitted use: Cardano (Developer) Bootcamp IOHK
- Not permitted: CardanoConf London
- Not permitted: Cardano Blockchain Conference
General guidance on Events and Meet-Ups
When organising an event, camp, and/or meet-up, please ensure that you have the time and resources required to organise them. For the benefit of our community and its members please also ensure that they are located in safe and easily accessible venues. It is important to bear in mind that these events should mirror our Values and we ask you help us build upon the same through your participation. We want to keep engaged with the Cardano community, and, so, if you want to run an event or have any questions regarding the use of the Marks, please do not hesitate to ask us!
3.3. Use that does require written approval
In some specific cases, you will always require explicit permission from Cardano Foundation in order to use the Marks. Even if you meet the criteria for automatic approval, you must always seek our permission to use the Marks if your project meets any of the following criteria:
- The use of the Marks suggests an "official link" between your product or service and the Cardano Foundation;
- The use of the Marks is in a domain name;
- The use of the Marks is in an incorporated company name;
- The use of the Marks is used on specific branded products of goods and or services.
- A domain called officialcardanofaq.org (this does not apply to the Cardano Partners who may include the term ‘Official’ as a prefix in conjunction with the term ‘Cardano’)
- A corporation named Cardano Foundation Development Ltd
- A brand of ‘Certified Cardano Support Agency ‘ or 'OFFICIAL ADA WALLET’ (this does not apply to the Cardano Partners, namely IOHK)
The Marks are used as part of a "cardano.tld" top level domain name.
The Marks are used as part of a domain name that covers an entire category of products or services that are relevant to the Cardano community.
The Marks are used as part of the name of a company, organisation, trade name or association.
- Cardano Users Germany
- Cardano Inc
- Cardano Bloggers Association
You would like to use the Marks as a part of an advertising campaign.
- Google Adwords/Adsense
- Facebook promoted posts
- A television advertisement
If you're not sure whether your use of the Marks qualifies for automatic approval or not, please do not hesitate to ask us!
3.4. Use Specimens
In some jurisdictions, we may be required to demonstrate the use of our trademarks after a certain period of time in order to maintain their validity. It is, therefore, in the benefit of the whole Cardano community that where you use our Marks, you agree to provide the Cardano Foundation with specimens and/or documents that demonstrate your usage of our Marks in order to support Cardano Foundation to maintain and enforce its rights where such maintenance and enforcement is subject to use evidence. We may contact you and request that you provide us with such evidence from time to time.
3.5. Applying for Permission
If you would like to apply for permission to use the Marks based on the guidelines above, please email us directly including your full details and the details of your requested use.
Your application will be considered against the following criteria which considers whether the product or service in question:
3.5.1. Promotes Cardano usage around the world;
3.5.2. Is released under an open source licence compatible with this Policy and or any applicable Cardano licence;
3.5.3. Is created by significant contributors to the Cardano Code and supports of the open Project;
3.5.4. Has a positive impact on the overall Cardano community; and
3.5.5. Does not lead to confusion about being an official project of the Cardano Partners.
Where you plan to generate a profit on your use of our Marks – for example, if you intend sell merchandise bearing the Marks, we may require you to enter into a sub-licence with us where any applicable licence fee (after reasonable overhead expenses) will go to support the Cardano Foundation and Project.
We ask that you submit any requests to us a reasonable time before you require our approval so that we may give appropriate consideration to your intended use of our Marks. If we do not respond within three (3) months, this will be deemed as a rejected application.
4. Proper trademark use
These rules hold true for all trademarks, not just ours, so you should follow them for our Marks as well as anyone else's.
Use of trademarks in text
Always distinguish trademarks from surrounding text with at least initial capital letters or in all capital letters.
Unacceptable: cardano, cardano foundation
Acceptable: Cardano, Cardano Foundation
Always use a trademark as an adjective modifying a noun.
Unacceptable: This is a Cardano. Anyone can install it
Acceptable: This is a Cardano application. Anyone can install it.
Don't use a trademark as a verb.
Trademarks are products or services, never actions.
Unacceptable: I Cardano'd my computer today!
Acceptable: I installed the Cardano protocol on my computer today!
Don't use a trademark as a possessive.
Instead, the following noun should be used in possessive form or the sentence reworded so there is no possessive.
Unacceptable: Cardano’s install interface is very clean.
Acceptable: The Cardano install interface is very clean.
Don't translate a trademark into another language.
In order to protect the Cardano community we ask that you help us by reporting any suspected illegal or criminal use of our Marks by a third party of which you may become aware, together with any information, and assistance, in relation to any such use of our Marks. This way we can continue to build upon the communal and collaborative effort to protect and enhance the Cardano ecosystem and continue to maintain its reputation. The Cardano Foundation gives no warranty and makes no representation in or pursuant to this Policy that the use of the Marks, nor the manufacture, use, sale or other dealing in any of the Cardano Code, does not or will not infringe the rights of others. Any use of the Cardano Marks should be in accordance with applicable legislation and subject to any third party’s pre-existing intellectual property rights in the relevant territory. The Cardano Foundation shall not be liable for any claims relating to user’s activities falling within the scope of the permission and the user hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold the Cardano Foundation and its contributors harmless against any such claims. The Cardano Foundation reserves the right to withdraw any right granted to you to use the Marks at its discretion, if we consider that such use damages the reputation of the Cardano Foundation, the Cardano Partners, and or the Project, or where any use of the Marks fulfils any unlawful activities or damages other members of the Cardano community. Any right to use the Marks and any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with this Policy and its subject matter or formation of the same shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.
APPENDIX 1 – THE MARKS
Word trademarks and service marks (the “Word Marks”):
Our logos (the “Logos”):