Request for comments: OpenJDK Trademark Notice

Mark Reinhold mr at
Fri Mar 21 21:42:25 UTC 2008

Over the last couple of months a group of us here at Sun has been working
with developers at Red Hat and Canonical to integrate packages based on
the open-source JDK 6 code [1] into the upcoming Fedora 9 [2] and Ubuntu
Hardy Heron [3] releases.

The names of these packages include the token "openjdk", and the version
strings say "OpenJDK".  In Hardy Heron, for example, the packages share
the prefix "openjdk-6", and running "java -version" after installing them
produces the output:

    openjdk version "1.6.0"
    OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0-b06)
    OpenJDK Server VM (build 1.6.0-b06, mixed mode)

Now "OpenJDK" is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, so we had to come up
with a way to grant permission for these types of uses.  Working with
Sun's trademark counsel we drafted the OpenJDK Trademark Notice and
published the first version in the b06 source bundle, in the TRADEMARK
file at the root of the tree.  Based on early feedback from Andrew Haley,
Dalibor Topic, Mark Wielaard, and others, we revised it slightly and
published v1.1 [4] in b07, which shipped yesterday [5].

We couldn't address all of the open issues in time for v1.1, so attached
below is the current draft of version 1.2 of the Notice.  The differences
from v1.1 are:

  - The term "Owner" has been changed to "Trademark Owner", just to
    make it absolutely clear that Sun is not, in this Notice, claiming
    ownership of anything other than the "OpenJDK" trademark;

  - The list of URLs from which the original code may be downloaded
    has been corrected and clarified, and also generalized to allow
    successor locations to be designated in the future;

  - A clause has been added to allow porting efforts to use the
    trademark; and
  - A clause has been added to allow downstream repackagers to use
    the HotSpot code from a different source tree if necessary, e.g.
    in order to use the C++ interpreter that's available in the jdk7
    tree but not in the jdk6 tree.

We hope to finalize this new version of the Notice by the end of next
week (28 March).  Comment and suggestions are most welcome.

- Mark


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OpenJDK Trademark Notice
DRAFT Version 1.2, 2008/3/20

OpenJDK (the "Name") is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. (the "Trademark

Trademark Owner publishes source code (the "Original Software") at several
World Wide Web locations (each a "Website").  These locations include:

as well as any successor locations designated by Trademark Owner in future
revisions of this Notice.

Each Website provides Original Software in two parts: A Java virtual machine
(the "Virtual Machine") and an API library and tools (the "Library and Tools").

Trademark Owner permits any person obtaining a copy of this software (the
"Software") that is based on Original Software to use the Name in the package
names and version strings of the Software subject to the following conditions:

  (1) The Software is a substantially complete implementation of the OpenJDK
      development-kit or runtime-environment source code retrieved from a single
      Website, and the vast majority of the Software code is identical to that
      upstream Original Software, except that:

        (a) Changes required to port Original Software to new operating systems
            or hardware architectures are permitted, so long as that work takes
            place in the context of an approved Project hosted in the OpenJDK
            Community; and

        (b) A Virtual Machine from one Website may be combined with the Library
            and Tools of another Website, so long as the vast majority of the
            code in each is identical to the corresponding upstream Virtual
            Machine or Library and Tools component.

  (2) No permission is hereby granted to use the Name in any other manner,
      unless such use constitutes "fair use", for example "based on the OpenJDK
      source code" or "Ubuntu's packaging of the OpenJDK 6 code".

  (3) Trademark Owner makes no warranties of any kind respecting the Name and
      all representations and warranties, including any implied warranty of
      merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement are
      hereby disclaimed.

  (4) Finally, this notice and the following legend are included in all copies
      of the Software or portions of it:

          OpenJDK is a trademark or registered trademark of Sun Microsystems,
          Inc. in the United States and other countries.

Trademark Owner intends to revise this Notice as necessary in order to meet the
needs of the OpenJDK Community.  Please send questions or comments about this
Notice to Sun Microsystems at openjdk-tm at  Revisions to this notice
will be announced on the public mailing list announce at, to
which you may subscribe by visiting

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