pfSense® and pfSense Certified® are registered trademarks and service marks of ESF, and have been exclusively licensed to Rubicon Communications LLC (Netgate). The pfSense logo is a trademark of ESF. You may not use these or any other ESF trademarks or service marks without the prior express written permission of ESF and pursuant to the trademark policy shown below.
Our trademark policy (the "Policy") contains guidelines for use of pfSense, pfSense Certified, and the pfSense logo (the “Logo”) (all of which are collectively referred to as the "pfSense Marks"), as well as for use of pfSense CE for the version released to the community.
Trademarks and service marks provide assurance about the quality of the goods or services with which the trademarks are associated. Confusion can arise if the same or similar names are used in connection with someone else’s products or services that are similar to ours. ESF’s protection of the pfSense Marks benefits the pfSense community, so that you will know that what you are receiving is authentic and genuine pfSense software.
The purpose of this Policy is to allow you to understand if your use of the pfSense Marks is acceptable. Nothing in this Policy limits your permissions under the open source license to the pfSense software [https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0].
Role of the pfSense Community
The pfSense community has a welcome role in reporting non-compliant uses of the pfSense Marks. We hope that you will encourage others who are engaged in non-compliant uses to take corrective measures. Again, we want you to be confident that what you receive is authentic and genuine pfSense software.
If you have any questions about this Policy or any use of the pfSense Marks not addressed in the Policy, or if you encounter any confusing use or misuse of the pfSense Marks, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you use the pfSense Marks, it must be in a manner that does not mislead or confuse others. You cannot mislead or confuse others directly, or by omission. In other words, no one should be confused as to what he or she is obtaining, and from whom. Trademark law prohibits you from creating a "likelihood of confusion," but it also allows for certain "fair use" of another’s trademark.
For example, you may not state that you are distributing pfSense software when you are actually distributing some downstream modification of an official pfSense release (an "official" build, package or release is one that has been approved by ESF; in addition, “pfSense CE” is the name of the version published by ESF for use by the community). Without this prohibition, your recipients could easily be confused if they do not receive the same features and functionality they would have obtained had they software officially released by ESF. As another example, you may not use the Logo on your website in a way that suggests that your website is an official website of ESF or pfSense, or that ESF or pfSense endorses your website. You can, however, say things such as you like the pfSense software distribution or that you participate in the pfSense community.
You are not allowed to register, in whole or in part, any of the pfSense Marks as part of your own trademark, service mark, domain name, company name, trade name, product name, or service name, anywhere, worldwide.
Trademark law does not allow your use of names or trademarks that are confusingly similar to the pfSense Marks. This means, among other things, that you may not use a variation of any of the pfSense Marks or any phonetic equivalent, takeoff, play on words, or abbreviation for a similar or related project, product, or service (for example, things such as "pfSense Lifestyle," "PFsense Community," "pf-Sense Sensibility," "pfSensor", etc., would all infringe ESF’s rights).
- You may use the pfSense Marks in connection with your non-commercial redistribution of (1) bit-for-bit identical copies of official pfSense releases, and (2) unmodified copies of official pfSense source packages.
- You may use the pfSense word mark (but not the Logo), to truthfully describe the origin of the software that you are providing but not the software itself, if what you are distributing is modified official pfSense source code or is a build compiled from modified official pfSense source code. You may say, for example: "This software is derived from the source code for the pfSense distribution." You may not, however, state that such modified software is pfSense. “pfSense CE” is the name used for the version released by ESF for use by the community; therefore, your attribution for modifications should likewise refer to “pfSense CE."
- You may use the pfSense word mark (but not the Logo), to truthfully describe the relationship between your software and the pfSense software. In this scenario, you may only use the pfSense word mark after a verb or preposition that describes the relationship. For example, you can state "the Acme project package for pfSense distribution" but cannot state “Acme’s pfSense software."
- You may use the pfSense Certified mark to truthfully state that your application runs on or uses an official pfSense release that has been certified as such by ESF.
- You may use the pfSense Marks in themes, personas, or skins for applications to show your support for pfSense, if your use is noncommercial and is clearly decorative, as contrasted with a use that would be understood as the branding for a website or application.
- You may use “pfSense CE” to refer to modifications made to the version released by ESF for use by the community. For example: “Acme modifications based on pfSense CE.”
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in this Policy, the following are examples of unacceptable uses of the pfSense Marks:
- Using the pfSense Marks in connection with commercial redistribution of pfSense software ("commercial redistribution" includes but is not limited to redistribution in connection with any commercial business activities or revenue-generating business activities), regardless of whether the pfSense software is unmodified, except as may be permitted above.
- Using the pfSense Marks to identify software that combines any portion of the pfSense software with any other software, unless all parts of the combined distribution constitute official pfSense distributions. For example, you may not distribute a combination of the pfSense software with software released by your company or a third party company under a different name, such as “pfSense Acme Distribution.”
- Using the pfSense Marks in connection with any rebuild of pfSense software, unless such rebuild is an official pfSense build, regardless of whether the pfSense software is unmodified.
Use for Non-Software Goods and Services
- You may use the pfSense Marks on your website to show your support for pfSense, so long as:
- Your own branding or naming is more prominent than the pfSense Marks;
- Any use of the Logo hyperlinks to https://www.pfsense.org;
- Your site is not likely to cause users to believe that your website, service, or product is a website, service, or product of ESF; and,
- Your site clearly states that it is not endorsed by ESF.
- You may use the pfSense word mark (but not the Logo) in the titles of books, articles and presentations about pfSense software, as long as the use is not likely to suggest that ESF has published, endorses, or agrees with your work.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in this Policy, the following are examples of unacceptable uses:
- Use of the pfSense Marks as part of a company name, trade name, domain name or subdomain.
- Use of the pfSense Marks on promotional goods for sale, such as hats, t-shirts, mugs, etc.
Proper trademark use
Use of trademarks and service marks in text
- Always use trademarks and service marks with their proper spelling, not abbreviated, hyphenated, or combined with any other word or words:
- Unacceptable: pf-Sense
- Unacceptable: Acme PFsense
- Acceptable: pfSense®
- Always distinguish trademarks and service marks from surrounding text:
- Unacceptable: I got pfSense yesterday.
- Acceptable: I received version 2.2 of the pfSense® software.
- Don’t use a trademark or service mark as a noun (proper use is as an adjective):
- Unacceptable: PfSense works well.
- Unacceptable: I installed a pfSense on my computer.
- Acceptable: The pfSense® software works well.
- Acceptable: I installed pfSense® software on my computer.
- Don’t use a trademark or service mark as a verb:
- Unacceptable: We are pfSense-ing our routers.
- Acceptable: We are installing the pfSense® software on our routers.
- Don’t use the possessive form for a trademark or service mark:
- Unacceptable: pfSense’s distribution is stable.
- Acceptable: The pfSense® software distribution is stable.
- Don’t pluralize a trademark or service mark:
- Unacceptable: I’ve installed twenty pfSenses.
- Acceptable: I’ve installed twenty sets of pfSense® software.
Use of Logo
You may not change the Logo except to scale it. This means you may not add or remove elements to or from the Logo, change the colors or proportions of the Logo, distort the Logo, or combine the Logo with other logos.
Attribution and Credit
When using ESF trademarks in the body of written text, you should use the following credit line in a prominent place, usually in a footnote.
pfSense and pfSense Certified are registered trademarks of Electric Sheep Fencing, LLC in the United States and other countries.
License and Attribution
This Policy is based in part on the Model Trademark Guidelines available at: http://modeltrademarkguidelines.org.
Both this Policy and the Model Trademark Guidelines are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en_US.
Last Modified: January 19, 2017