Open Source trademark error in CACM

From: Chris Ingram <chris(dot)ingram(at)acm(dot)org>
To: tim(at)oreilly(dot)com
Cc: crawford_d(at)acm(dot)org, spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Open Source trademark error in CACM
Date: 1999-04-07 04:02:46
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Lists: spi-general

Mr. O'Reilly,

In your article in the April 1999 issue of _Communications of the
ACM_ titled "Lessons from Open-Source [sic] Software Development", I
believe that you state an incorrect fact. In the first sentence of the
second paragraph you state, "Officially, open source (which is a
trademark of the Open Source Initiative - see"

Searching the US Patent and Trademark Office database (available at reveals that the term "Open Source" is a
certification mark of Software in the Public Interest (SPI). This is also
the assertion on their web site at
SPI indicates, however, that the trademark is managed by Eric Raymond,
who happens to be the founder of the Open Source Initive. OSI does not
own the trademark. Please make a note of the error and have it
corrected. Thank you.

Chris Ingram


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