Debian Trademarks


Debian is committed to protect and ensure consistent usage of its trademark, logos, and styles and also make it easier for every bonafide user to use. As a part of this process, the Debian trademark is a registered United States trademark of Software in the Public Interest, Inc., managed by the Debian project. For registration outside the United States, we have filed a Madrid Protocol application to extend the protection in the European Union, China and Japan; the Debian trademark is also registered in Brazil, N. do processo 827045310, but it is expired.

The Debian trademark was first registered the 21st of December of 1999, but has been in use since August 1993. It is registered under the Nice Class 009: Computer Utility and Operating System Software.

Trademark Policy

Version: 2.0
Published: 19 January 2013

Software in the Public Interest, Inc. owns a number of trademarks in both word and logo form including brands, slogans, styles. This policy encompasses all marks, in word and logo form, collectively referred to as Debian trademarks. You can see a non-exhaustive list of Debian trademarks, including both registered and unregistered (but otherwise legally recognized) trademarks at our trademarks page.

The objective of this trademark policy is:

  1. to encourage widespread use and adoption of the Debian trademarks,
  2. to clarify proper usage of Debian trademarks by third parties,
  3. to prevent misuse of Debian trademarks that can confuse or mislead users with respect to Debian or its affiliates.

Please note that it is not the goal of this policy to limit commercial activity around Debian. We encourage businesses to work on Debian while being compliant with this policy.

Following are the guidelines for the proper use of Debian trademarks by publishers and other third parties. Any use of or reference to Debian trademarks that is inconsistent with these guidelines, or other unauthorized use of or reference to Debian trademarks, or use of marks that are confusingly similar to Debian trademarks, is prohibited and may violate Debian trademark rights.

Any use of Debian trademarks in a misleading and false manner or in a manner that disparages Debian, such as untruthful advertising, is always prohibited.

When You Can Use the Debian Trademarks Without Asking Permission

  1. You can use Debian trademarks to make true factual statements about Debian or communicate compatibility with your product truthfully.
  2. Your intended use qualifies as nominative fair use of the Debian trademarks, i.e., merely identifying that you are talking about Debian in a text, without suggesting sponsorship or endorsement.
  3. You can use Debian trademarks to describe or advertise your services or products relating to Debian in a way that is not misleading.
  4. You can use Debian trademarks to describe Debian in articles, titles or blog posts.
  5. You can make t-shirts, desktop wallpapers, caps, or other merchandise with Debian trademarks for non-commercial usage.
  6. You can also make merchandise with Debian trademarks for commercial usage. In case of commercial usage, we recommend that you truthfully advertise to customers which part of the selling price, if any, will be donated to the Debian project. See our donations page for more information on how to donate to the Debian project.

When You Can NEVER Use the Debian Trademarks Without Asking Permission

  1. You cannot use Debian trademarks in any way that suggests an affiliation with or endorsement by the Debian project or community, if the same is not true.
  2. You cannot use Debian trademarks in a company or organization name or as the name of a product or service.
  3. You cannot use a name that is confusingly similar to Debian trademarks.
  4. You cannot use Debian trademarks in a domain name, with or without commercial intent.

How to Use the Debian Trademarks

  1. Use the Debian trademarks in a manner that makes it clear that your project is related to the Debian project, but that it is not part of Debian, produced by the Debian project, or endorsed by the Debian project.
  2. Acknowledge Software in the Public Interest, Inc.'s ownership of the Debian trademark prominently.


    [TRADEMARK] is a (registered, if applicable) trademark owned by Software in the Public Interest, Inc.

  3. Include a disclaimer of sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement by Debian on your website and on all related printed materials.


    X PROJECT is not affiliated with Debian. Debian is a registered trademark owned by Software in the Public Interest, Inc.

  4. Distinguish the Debian trademarks from the surrounding words by italicizing, bolding or underlining it.
  5. Use the Debian trademarks in their exact form, neither abbreviated or hyphenated, nor combined with any other word or words.
  6. Do not create acronyms using the Debian trademarks.

Permission To Use

When in doubt about the use of Debian trademarks, or to request permission for uses not allowed by this policy, please send an email to with subject Trademark Use Request; be sure to include the following information in the body of your message:

Newer Versions of this Policy

This policy may be revised from time to time and updated versions shall be available at

Guidelines for Using Logos

For any queries with respect to these guidelines, please send an email to

Organisations Licensed to Use Debian Trademarks

The following organisations have been licensed to use the Debian trademark through a License Agreement: