Re: STIX Trademark?

Chet Ensign

Hi Duncan, 

STIX is still a trademark owned by the US government. See the statement included with the Notices on any of the CTI specifications, e.g. The DHS provided licensure to ensure that implementers of the specifications won't be burdened with having to clear its use but as Jamie (cc'ed here) has noted to me in the past, uses beyond that will likely send us back to DHS to ask permission again. For example, by submitting STIX to the ITU. 

We put together rules for the editors plus Paul and me to follow when preparing their work to go out. They were not onerous and I can find a copy for you if you want. We have not had any objections or problems and I'm sure we do not get it letter of the law perfect but we're making best efforts and that seems OK with everyone. 

Based on my experience to date, I think the need for TM depends in part on the context. If you are mentioning STIX in a Slack message or other informal, personal-type communication you shouldn't need to worry about that detail. If you are using it in some permanent, public-facing content, then most likely you'll need to put the TM on its first usage. And yeah... hmmm... then there's STIX-SHIFTER. Jamie, can you give us clear direction? 

And Duncan, aren't you glad you asked?


On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 11:55 AM sfractal <duncan@...> wrote:


I probably shouldn’t ask questions I might not like the answer to - but I was asked a question about the STIX trademark (in a different context) and OCA came to mind because OCA uses the four letters “stix” quite a lot. E.g. the OASIS announcement for OCA contains “STIX” 14 times (and none with a “TM”). The CTI TC mostly (always?) uses 4 capital letters and puts the TM symbol on it. Since they don’t have a footnote saying it is someone else’s trademark, does that mean it is an OASIS trademark? I thought DHS or MITRE “owned” the STIX trademark. Can we refer to the OASIS “STIX” specification without using the TM? If we do use STIXTM, do we need a footnote saying “STIXTM is a Trademark of the MITRE corporation”? If we use it in other contexts (eg as part of another name like stix shifter), can we use lower case and not bother with the TM? Can/should I put STIXTM on a CC-BY-4 webpage (eg for Architecture Working Group)?

I’m hoping there is some blanket agreement that allows us to use STIX and that we don’t endanger anything if we aren’t perfect in always annotating it with a TM (or better yet, that we don’t have to use TM all).


Duncan Sparrell

sFractal Consulting LLC

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Chet Ensign
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OASIS: Advancing open source & open standards for the information society

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