[theme-reviewers] Lite Themes

Bryan Hadaway bhadaway at gmail.com
Thu Oct 2 18:20:09 UTC 2014

That's correct, Apple also does use the trademark, but that's not how
trademarks work if I'm to infer your meaning that because multiple people
have the same trademark means that it devalues another or in some way
discredits one's ability to protect it?

That's probably one of the biggest misconceptions about trademarks, is that
they're broad, when in fact they're very specific. If a thousand different
companies in a thousand different industries all had the same trademark,
they would still be valid.

The purpose of a trademark is to protect your specific brand within the
scope of that industry from confusion with other brands. There are lots of
companies that use "Startup" for all kinds of things that in no way
concerns me. But, if I name my WordPress theme "Startup" first and then
someone else after me names their WordPress theme "Startup" that's very
specifically infringing and confusing and in basic human terms, rude and

Yeah, the USPTO site is ancient, for those that do care,
http://www.trademarkia.com/ is an easier tool to check for trademarks.

I do want to reiterate that I agree with you 100% Otto. I've always made it
clear that it's the responsibility of developers to respect one-another and
for reviewers to check for such issues is simply impractical.

The point I wanted to make, is that just because you *can* get away with a
theme name, doesn't mean you *should*. In other words for everyone who's
asking "So, then according to the guidelines, I can add X theme name?" it
really needed to be made clear that the guidelines are one thing, common
sense and the law is another, so just because something is technically okay
according to the WP guidelines doesn't mean you're supposed to.

That's the distinction that I think got lost in the mix with all the
confusion people are showing left and right.

So to be clear to everyone:

1. Yes, you can physically submit just about any theme name to the repo you
2. No, legally, you CANNOT simply add any theme name to the repo that you
wish to.

WordPress.org is a US website and organization governed by US law.

*Theme Reviewers* - That's really just for your information.
*Developers* - You need to do your due diligence in business matters.
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