WordPress Is Only Protecting Themselves


wordpress logo According to WordPress.org, to protect their trademark they ask that if you are going to create a WordPress related site not to use “WordPress” in the domain you choose.

What’s the meaning behind this? Are sites that use WordPress in their name at risk? Is WPCandy at risk?

Although they are not lawyers, WordPress still insists that they must make it clear, “so that we protect our trademark.”

So what does this mean for all those sites out there that already have “WordPress” in their domain name? Well not much really. They aren’t doing any harm to WordPress, but if they did decide to go all corporate and take out every other WordPress related site with WordPress in their domain, the WordPress community will take it pleasantly.

What about WPCandy? Do we interfere with WordPress’s policy? To be honest I don’t think so. I know “WP” is an abbreviation of “WordPress”, but again if WordPress decides to shoots down every site with “WP” in their name, it would look bad on themselves.

We all know that WordPress isn’t going to get too touchy about this, basically because it’s free publicity. The real question is, if you have a site with “WordPress” in the domain and WordPress emailed you and demanded you to remove it, or legal action would be taken, would you do as they say and stop using WordPress?

26 thoughts on “WordPress Is Only Protecting Themselves

  1. Pingback: Wp Wordpress » Blog Archive » WordPress Is Only Protecting Themselves

  2. I purchased a WP domain name just a few days ago for a forthcoming project, so I hope that this isn’t going to become a major issue for WordPress.

  3. I would think that NOT using the word WordPress in a domain would be common sense. It confuses people, they think that it’s an official WordPress site. They shouldn’t even have to have that on their site in my opinion. WP on the other hand is fine as most people know that WP sites are separate and independently run.

  4. Very interesting question. They might legally have recourse, but it would involve a significant financial investment on their part and it would alienate many of their users.

    With that said, in addition to owning Hack WordPress, I own a few other WordPress domains and even a few WP domains. I can always transfer over the URL if it becomes an issue.

  5. A tangential question!

    Can you prophesy a timeline for the takeover of WordPress by Yahoo!/Google/eBay/Apple/Microsoft/Oracle/Amazon/McDonald’s/BestBuy/…….! πŸ™‚

    An when it comes to that, what would be your probable bid?


  6. Digg has been known to have to send out notices to sites using the word “Digg” in their name/domain. It’s completely within their right and WordPress is no different, so this does have some weight behind it.

  7. Well, it’s always good for SEO purposes to have the “WP” or “WordPress” in your url, as se’s will naturally position
    those domains higher in results for WordPress related searches (e.g. WP Themes)…

  8. This sounds like a story I’ve heard about Xerox many years back. Back in the day it use to be, “I need to xerox this blah blah” or “Can you xerox the TPS Reports for me.” Because xerox had been used so widely in the day to day life there was something about Xerox the company having a hard time with trademark issues.

    It would be like trying to trademark a common word that people use day to day. I don’t know the laws/rules but I don’t think you can trademark a word like that.

    For example if WordPress became so commonly used that a dictionary defined wordpress as

    “WordPress as an act of blogging etc etc”

    instead of

    “WordPress is the blog publishing system designed by Automattic Inc., written in PHP and backed by a MySQL database ….”

    I’m sure there are other motives as well for example scammers, scrapers, jerks, using wp/wordpress to jump ahead of the engine list. That’s not saying all sites using this in their domains are scammers, scrapers, or jerks but you know what I am saying. There are individuals that would misrepresent themselves that may give others the wrong impression.

    Think WordPress might being going corporate and they want to keep their good name?

  9. Pingback: Should WordPress Fan Sites Worry About The WordPress Trademark?

  10. Pingback: Wp Wordpress » Blog Archive » Should WordPress Fan Sites Worry About The WordPress Trademark?

  11. Cal has it exactly right – “I would think that NOT using the word WordPress in a domain would be common sense. It confuses people, they think that it’s an official WordPress site.”

    Using “wp” in the domain is fine, and is generally what we encourage.

  12. Haha I use the term WordPress in that way all the time. “Do you WordPress?”

    @Matt: Very good point. Do you see WordPress taking any action against sites with “WordPress” in the domain/name?

  13. I agree with Cal as well, users must differentiate between what’s a official Word Press site vs. somebody else who is using the name for their own personal site. It’s common sense, simple as that.

  14. Anyway, I think that it’s a bit contradictory and confusing that a GPL app pays attention to logo/trademarks issues.

    It’s like saying “Hey guys! talk anywhere about my app and use it a lot!, even contribute to it!!. But please, dont use wordpress word in your domain even if you want to call your site ‘wordpresslovers.com’.

    I dont think that simply by put “wordpress” word in a domain people get confused or thinks that is an official WP site.

    There are a lot of GPL apps having their contributors/fans the name of the app in the domain, and WP is the first case that I know (from some time ago) about claiming not to use their app name in the domain.

    Maybe the difference is that WP is managed by a company πŸ™‚

    IMHO ofcourse πŸ˜‰

  15. Nowadays that’s a necessary action. WordPress must protect their own trademark. But I don’t think they will start closing every single blog or site that talks about WP.

    Fansites are normal, and some of them create a positive buzz for the companies, like this WP Candy.

  16. Trademark dilution is what I was referring to. As I was thinking of other examples I found the article over at wordpressgarage that breaks it down pretty good.

  17. Pingback: Il trademark di Joomla

  18. I have a few of these as well. Not worried about it though. I’ll do the right thing by WordPress, as they’ve been very cool about the whole situation so far.

    Anything with “wp” should be fine.

  19. Ooh. Now that’s an interesting read – I’ll have to do some more research to decide if I should switch before I get to far in on my recent project. This was, after all, some time ago.

    LEGO does the same thing too, though trademark dilution is much more prominent for them than for WordPress. There’s to this date only one unofficial LEGO site that is allowed (by the LEGO Company) to have the term LEGO in it. Others use the term brick instead, much like WP instead of WordPress.

  20. Pingback: Using WordPress in Your Domain Name? Don’t! « Lorelle on WordPress

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