[theme-reviewers] Theme author violating WordPress trademark

Bryan Hadaway bhadaway at gmail.com
Tue Jun 17 22:33:41 UTC 2014

I figured as much, but that's a completely aside issue, at least to my
question. I'm referring to the actual take-down request of the domain:


We can block their theme because of all sorts of issues in accordance with
the guidelines, but we have no place to actually submit a cease and desist
complaint against them, THAT is entirely WordPress' and their lawyers
responsibility and way beyond anything we should ever involve ourselves in,

@Chip - Looking for clarification of the line between what's in the
guidelines and what's beyond the guidelines for a theme reviewer's
responsibility. Besides the fact that none of us are trademark lawyers,
most are very uninformed about what's okay and what isn't, trademark
infringement vs fair use etc. Shouldn't you make it clear that a theme
reviewer, if they believe their was a problem, could say:

A. "Apologies, there appears to be some issues with the WordPress
trademark, please see http://wordpressfoundation.org/trademark-policy/. I
won't be able to approve your theme at this time."

But, not:

B. "You need to immediately take down your domain
http://wordpresssuperexpress.com/ as it is in violation of the WordPress

It's an important distinction between sharing information that informs them
(the theme developer) and allows them to fix the problem themselves and
then essentially demanding them to with a legal notice, which should never
be done by anyone besides WordPress or someone they've entered into
confidence with to represent them officially and legally.

Also, another question I have, is that you guys have said (I believe was
said) we're not going to police trademarks anymore, especially in theme
names, that if it's available, it's available and that past that if there
are trademark issues it's up to the trademark holders to deal with those
issues as it's beyond our scope, which I strongly agree with.

However, I guess I should assume that basically applies to all trademarks,
except WordPress? Let me ask it another way, if someone was to upload a
theme that violated one of my trademarks, am I allowed to email the theme
review team to request the theme be suspended or is it entirely my
responsibility to bring the complaint directly to WordPress (
tm-report at wordpress.com or the like)?

It doesn't come up enough to be a huge issue, but it still feels a little
open to interpretation by reviewers that may get the wrong idea of how to
appropriately handle such situations.
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