WordPress trademark transferred to the WordPress Foundation


Matt Mullenweg has announced that Automattic has transferred the WordPress trademark to the non-profit WordPress Foundation, which is, according to the post, dedicated to “pro­mot­ing and ensur­ing access to Word­Press and related open source projects in per­pe­tu­ity.” Regarding the transfer, Mullenweg wrote:

“It’s impor­tant for me to know that Word­Press will be pro­tected and that the brand will con­tinue to be a bea­con of open source free­dom regard­less of whether any com­pany is as benev­o­lent as Automat­tic has been thus far. It’s impor­tant to me to know that we’ve done the right thing.”

9 thoughts on “WordPress trademark transferred to the WordPress Foundation

  1. It’s great to see this happening. I can imagine it being a tough thing to do — and Matt says as much in his blog post — but it’s always a great thing to see people sacrificing for something greater than themselves. Sure, it’s only a trademark, but it’s a cool thing nonetheless.

  2. It is great to see this.

    The cynic in me can’t help thinking the reason he has done this is so Automattic don’t have to protect the trademark, it now falls to the community. This could save his company a lot of money in the future if it requires protecting.

    But I’m sure I’m just being a miserably old git 😛


    • Hmm, yeah I can’t imagine that’s the primary reason. I see it as a huge donation, seeing as how a trademark like this is of a tremendous value. Looking at dollars only, there is also the potential to license the trademark as well.

      • Hello,

        Another interesting thing I though of the other day is the trademark does not allow use of the word wordpress in domains. Now automattic do not own it does this mean wordpress.com is in violation of the trademark, now owned by the community?

        I am sure there is an exemption or something but something to think about.


        • We actually touched on that in the new podcast (going up shortly). It’s only an issue if the trademark holder has an issue, so I suppose it depends what the community demands.

          There’s always the possibility of licensing it out, for that domain. Assuming it’s an issue with anyone.

          • Thanks, I’ll give this a listen.

            This does then touch of another point, who is the community? Any random person in the World? A person who has downloaded WordPress, developer of the core WordPress?

            While this is a lovely idea I really don’t think it is practical.

            Also where is the money coming from if a legal process is required?


  3. A quick check of the US trademark database at http://uspto.gov shows no transfer has been made. The trademark is still held by Automattic. You may want to verify your sources.

    Amazes me how many people just believed Matt as face value without verifying this.

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