NeoOffice CD Distribution & Trademark Usage

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Many people have expressed interest in obtaining a NeoOffice® CD or DVD, particularly users with dialup or metered Internet connections. Simultaneously, others have expressed interest in distributing NeoOffice® on CD or DVD.

According to the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), copies of NeoOffice®'s binary may be sold or distributed, provided the source code is also included or offered as described in the license. However, the GPL dictates terms for distribution only as it relates to issues of copyright. Anyone wishing to sell NeoOffice®-branded CDs or DVDs will also have to consider the trademark issue.

NeoOffice®, like other open source software packages including AbiWord, software, and the Red Hat Linux distribution, has trademarked its name. Trademark law is separate from copyright. Whereas copyright law protects creative works from being distributed without permission of the copyright owner, trademark laws exist to preserve brand names or graphical marks for companies, products and services, typically to keep products from being counterfeited or duplicated within a particular market. Trademark protection, for example, restricts anyone besides Nike from using their famous "swoosh" on their shoes or any other soft drink maker from calling their beverage "Pepsi" or any music service from calling itself "iTunes".

Similarly, the name "NeoOffice®" is a registered trademark (thus the "®" trademark registration character after NeoOffice®) of Planamesa Inc. and is protected under United States and international trademark laws.

So, while the GPL allows anyone to copy, modify, and redistribute—or even sell—NeoOffice®'s source-code and binaries, trademark rules restrict how the software may be branded and marketed to the public. That is, if you wish to resell NeoOffice®-branded software, you must adhere to the NeoOffice® Trademark Usage Guidelines described below or negotiate a separate trademark license.

Otherwise, you may resell NeoOffice® (NeoOffice®/C and the former NeoOffice®/J) without negotiating a trademark license provided you recompile and excise all references to the NeoOffice® word mark from the software.

[edit] NeoOffice® Trademark Usage Guidelines

NeoOffice® is a registered trademark of Planamesa Inc. within the United States for all goods falling within International Class 9, including but not limited to software and computer software products. This trademark is in effect until 2013 under Section 8 of the Trademark Act of 1946.

The GNU General Public License (GPL) does not cover trademark usage, only source code copyright. Trademark usage is covered under different laws.

Planamesa Inc. will take whatever legal action is necessary to ensure no one uses the NeoOffice® trademark in any way the trademark holder deems to be unfit. Any usage of the NeoOffice® trademark for software that is not directly affiliated with the trademark holder is hereby forbidden.

This should also serve as notice that usage of the NeoOffice® trademark is hereby granted for any mirroring of only the NeoOffice® binaries that are currently available for download from Planamesa Inc. providing that you distribute such binaries to any and all individuals without charge. Personal or non-profit use of such binaries (e.g. burning CDs or DVDs to hand out to family/friends, use for installs, handing out CDs or DVDs at conferences, any non-profit activity or organization, etc.) is allowed by the usage policy.

The moment that an exchange of money is involved, usage of the NeoOffice® trademark is hereby prohibited.

[edit] How do I become a CD/DVD Distributor?

  • Your CD/DVD must contain items 1 and 4 of this section
  1. The latest full binary release (e.g., 2017.23)
    • Distributing non-current releases is prohibited by the Trademark Usage Policy
  2. The latest patch at time of burning (if you burn disk-per-person) as some patches can get large enough to be annoying to dialup users
  3. Language Pack installer(s) for your region, if applicable
  4. The Readme.rtf file from the official disk image (place this file at the root of your NeoOffice CD/DVD)
    You may modify or add additional information to the Readme.rtf file, but you must not replace any of the existing content of the file
Items 1 and 4 are found on the official disk image (.dmg) downloaded from

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