[theme-reviewers] Lite Themes

Bryan Hadaway bhadaway at gmail.com
Thu Oct 2 13:25:09 UTC 2014

Also, I think one thing that's getting lost in communication here is that
just because in some cases the admins or theme review team doesn't police
names, doesn't make it okay or even legal to infringe on other people's

To knowingly (which is worse) or even ignorantly infringe on someone else's
trademark causing confusion for the end-user is 100% illegal.

I'll use "Advertica Lite" as an example because it is clearly, a
non-generic made up trademark of SketchThemes (that requires no argument).
If someone else, unofficially, without SketchThemes permission were to
release a theme called just "Advertica" into the repo and wasn't stopped by
anyone that still doesn't make it any less illegal.

Another common misconception that people have is that SketchThemes would
have to register with the USPTO for that to be valid. While it would be
easier to protect, it doesn't make the law any less valid.

Trademark law is a consumer protection law that's in place automatically
whether SketchThemes chooses to protect their brand or not and whether the
WordPress theme review process catches it or not, because it protects the
people from fraud, knock-offs, viruses, being mislead to buy the wrong
product if they were to buy the imitator's version of Advertica Pro etc.
etc. etc.

Nothing is ever black and white. Every review should be done on a case by
case basis and while it's completely impossible to police everything, those
submitting themes have a responsibility too, just because they can
technically slip something by doesn't necessarily mean that morally or
legally it's going to slip by.

@Otto is 100% correct, common sense goes a long way.
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