[theme-reviewers] Theme author violating WordPress trademark

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Tue Jun 17 22:52:52 UTC 2014

On Tue, Jun 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM, Bryan Hadaway <bhadaway at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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:
> http://wordpresssuperexpress.com/
> 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,
> right?

Here's how it works:

- We do not allow themes or plugins to exist in the WordPress.org directory
if the URLs in them are in violation of the WordPress trademark. Basically,
if it has "wordpress" in their domain name, it is not-approved. (Note that
subdomains are okay; wordpress.example.com is fine.)

- You don't have do anything else, at all. We'll totally handle it. We have
a process already behind the scenes that will deal. So don't worry about
it, don't say anything that could be construed legally in any way. Just
don't approve the theme. It's as easy as that. If you want to assist the
person and say that they can change the domain name, feel free to help a
brother out. But you don't need to make any demands on anybody's behalf.

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.

Except for obvious cases (like if somebody tries to name their theme
"Facebook" or "Google" or something stupid like that), you don't have to
worry about those.

If you have any sort of a legal problem with a theme which is already in
the directory, you can email me about it and I'll forward it to the right
people or take whatever action is necessary. For plugins, email the plugins
team at the usual address.

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