Automattic has made their strong suggestion known for some time now, don’t use WordPress in your domain name, as it is a registered trademark. Well, it seems Andy Wibbels has an interesting story and opinion on the whole thing, starting with an e-mail an anonymous reader received from Automattic.
I work for Automattic Inc. We run wordpress.com and we own the WordPress trademark. We have noticed that you are using the WordPress name in your [domainname.com] domain and product without our permission. We are asking you to stop using our trademark to market your [services]. Please let us know how long it will take you to change the name of your site and product.
Honestly, I don’t see the major problem here. You have to defend your trademark or you can lose it. But Andy goes a whole different direction, saying that WordPress should allow use of the name as long as it is done with respect to the original trademark, and I see that as a great compromise.
They could offer a request to put “WordPress is a registered trademark of Automattic, Inc.” or some other notice so that consumers will realize that the domain owner are not representatives of Automattic, Inc. Sort of like what is on WordPressPodcast.org:
WordPress is a trademark of Automattic, Inc., used with permission. The WordPress Community is an informal user’s group dedicated to WordPress evangelism and is not officially affiliated with Automattic, Inc. or the WordPress Open Source project.
If you work for Automattic and know more about what is going on with this whole trademark deal, leave a comment with your e-mail address, and we can talk. I think people would love to know the full scoop and have a better understanding on what we can and can’t do with the WordPress name.