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PSF Trademark Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Approval Process

What is the official policy for use of Python Software Foundation Trademarks?

The PSF Trademark Usage Policy is available at https://www.python.org/psf/trademarks/.

How do I contact the PSF Trademark Working Group / Committee ?

Send email to psf-trademarks@python.org.

Will you write an approval letter on official letterhead? Notarized? Cryptographically signed?

No.

Will the PSF endorse my training course/book/project?

The PSF does not endorse any particular training, documentation, or projects (other than a limited few like CPython and pip). We also do not provide Python certifications. Partnering with the PSF is not an option, nor is making it look like the PSF endorses your courses or books.

Please keep this in mind when structuring your marketing material, website and course material. We are delighted that you have chosen to use the Python programming language, but do not officially endorse one project or course over others.


Use in Commerce

May I use Python in commerce?

Use of Python in commerce is encourages as long as you do not claim exclusivity to some aspect of usage of Python or a topic related to Python and adhere to the Python copyright.

For any artwork you want to use which includes our logos, please get approval from the Working Group first.

May I use the Python logo for promotion?

This is fine as long as you use the unaltered Python logos from our website and don't claim an official affiliation with the PSF or the Python developers.

May I use the logo or wordmark on business cards?

As long as you don't change the Python logo and don't make it look like there is an organizational affiliation implied by the logo, you are free to use it.

May I use the Python logo in an NFT (non-fungible token)?

Nominative use of the Python logo is permitted, as generally are modifications which do not modify the outline shape. Commercial sales of the logo also have a royalty requirement.

Just to clarify something often misunderstood selling an NFT neither adds nor removes any legal rights from anyone. This remains true regardless of the confused beliefs of many enthusiasts of NFTs, and people willing to pay huge amounts for "bragging rights."

An NFT is a unique item, as the name suggests. But any transfer of rights that might occur is conducted in parallel with an NFT transaction, and can never be part of it as such. In particular, the PSF will not assign any intellectual property rights to you, but may approve your use of the logo, subject to the same conditions as other uses.

By analogy, suppose Tim Parkin (creator of the Python logo, and assigner of its copyright and trademark to the PSF) were to print out the Python logo, and sign, number, and date that print. Possibly someone would pay money for the prestige of having a distinct and unique physical object that utilizes the Python logo. If he were to do this, Tim's signature might add value to this one-of-a-kind (because signed) item, but it would not affect his assignment of IP rights to the PSF.

An NFT is essentially just a reproduction, like a book cover, a t-shirt, or a one-of-kind painting of the logo. If those uses preserve the shape, they are fine (but perhaps subject to royalty).

Commercial sale of an NFT is subject to the same royalty requirement as other items. The initial sale is subject to royalties, certainly, but if an Ethereum (or other blockchain) contract mandates residual payments to you on re-sale, in that case those are also subject to the royalty terms.


Merchandise

My I use the logo on a one-off t-shirt print?

As long as you keep the logo shape unaltered and don't sell the t-shirts, you are free to go, since this is nominative use. If you intend to alter the logo or put it into a different setting, please send in a mockup for approval.

What about on stickers?

As long as you keep the logo shape unaltered and don't sell the stickers, you are free to go, since this is nominative use. If you intend to alter the logo or put it into a different setting, please send in a mockup for approval.

May I sell merchandise including the Python logo?

For sold merchandise using our logos, we ask for a 10% donation of the gross revenue above 1000 USD you make from this per year.

Alternatively, you can also donate the 10% to another Python related or supporting non-profit. In general, we want those proceeds to be used in way which further the use of Python.

For approval of stickers and other artwork, please send in mockups or examples. If you want to use the Python logo, please make sure that the shape is not altered in any way.

How do I make a donation to comply with the royalty policy?

Please see our website for options on how to send donations: https://www.python.org/psf/donations/

May I calculate the royalty based on profit, or on net sales, rather than on gross sales?

No.

May I donate to an organization other than the Python Software Foundation?

Yes, but it must be an non-profit organization that promotes the use of the Python programming language. Specific approval is required from the PSF Trademarks Working Group (but is often granted).

Can I ignore the policy because [reason...]?

No.

Python Conferences

Can I use the name "PyCon" for my event?

First thing, consult the PSF PyCon Trademark Usage Policy at https://www.python.org/psf/trademarks/pycon/.

Next, think about whether your event is consistent with the branding goal of the PyCon name.

PyCon events are generally characterized as larger conferences, targeted at a worldwide, national or regional audience. You can visit https://pycon.org/ to get a better idea of the scale and focus of different PyCons around the world.

We require conferences using the name "PyCon" to be accessible to the general public, to have reasonable pricing, and to have a Code Of Conduct. The events are usually community driven.

For smaller events, or ones with a more specific target audience, it's usually best to use a different name, e.g. "[Location] Python Meetup", "PyFest [Location]", "Py[Location]", "Py[Community]", which do not fall under our trademark restrictions for the term "PyCon".

May I use of the Python logo on conference swag?

Use of the logo on Python conference swag is fine, but please send in a mockup of the graphics you intend to put on the swag for approval.


Logos and Derivatives

Where can I find the Python logo files?

You can download the official Python logo files from https://www.python.org/community/logos/

What does the Python logo mean?

"The logo is actually based on Mayan representations of snakes. [...] The shapes used (cross/spiral/yin-yang) are also primitive enough that there will always be connotations that can be derived." - Tim Parkin

May I alter the logo?

When using the Python logo, please make sure you don't alter the shape outline. Color changes to the logo are fine. Changes to the outline shape are not (this includes cutting off parts of the logo, twisting it, taking the elements apart, covering parts of the logo, etc.).

Adding extra visual elements adjacent to the Python logo to show an association is generally permitted, but subject to Working Group review. Please send in a mockup for approval in all cases.

What does it mean to "leave the shape unaltered"?

The exact outline of the "two snakes" logo must be retained. In particular, the space between the "snakes", under the "chins", and the size of the "eyes" must exactly match the true logo. Changes to interior colors, including patterns on the inside are generally permitted, but subject to approval.

In order to determine if shape is preserved, it is often useful to try reducing your design to monochrome to establish that outlines are intact. For example, these are the original logo and a monochrome version which would be permitted. Likewise the logo for PyCon Zimbabwe 2017 adds rich visual elements while preserving the shape.

Original Monochrome Comment
Flat or slightly gradient colors can easily be flood filled in graphic tools.
Much of pattern filled, but a few elements left in for illustration of preserved outline.
In a similar manner, PyCon Israel filled the interior with a design suggestive of local cactiform plants, and also added an adjacent visual element at top right.

The PyCon Israel design is slightly wrong in that the darker green and darker blue outlines are outset rather than inset, and hence the gaps change slightly. While that should be avoided in future designs, the approval is grandfathered in at this point.

In contrast here are designs that modify the shape, which becomes more evident as monochrome.

Original Monochrome Problem
The stars and stripes cross the outline. Visual implication of an outline is not sufficient, it must actually be a line.
An outline is outset from the true outline rather than inset. The gaps between snakes, their chins, and their eye size, are made much smaller.

Do you have additional guidance for topology students?

Rotations of the logo are permitted, particularly when they serve to visually aid a surrounding design. The rules about non-modification of the shape itself remain in place, although colors may be modified with the permission of the Working Group.

In general, designs we have approved generally use a rotation that is a multiple of 45°, but this is not strictly required. Show us the design for us to judge more accurately.

However, reflections are not permitted. That is, the chirality of the logo must be preserved to preserve the literal shape. There may be instances where we can approve a secondary reflection, for example as-if the logo is also in a mirror or a pond within an overall image; but even there, the primary focus must be on the literal logo.

For illustration:

Logo Discussion
Using the original logo without any additional elements is fine (including, as here, without the optional shadow).
Rotation of the logo is permitted; if the rotation is used to create a derived version by adjacency to other elements, please contact the WG, but it is likely to be permitted.
Reflection of the logo is NOT permitted; it's easy for human visual judgement to overlook the fact that this is a shape that cannot be "transformed within the plane"; but it is, in fact, a different shape.

Can I use the logo in a 3D rendering context?

Yes, this is possible under certain conditions:

When using the logo as part of a new logo or an illustration, 3D renderings of (potential) physical objects showing the unchanged logo shape will usually be fine, as long as the logo remains fully visible and is not shown using an excessive angle obscuring perception.

Please get approval from the PSF Trademark Committee for any such variant. There may be additional requirements we have depending on the individual use case.

In general, please make sure that the shape outline of the logo is clearly visible, even when rendered in 3D.

Are there any other common image problems I should watch out for?

Prior to 2005, several unofficial logos were used. We do not hold a trademark on these, but generally discourage use of these very old artifacts, simply in the interest of consistent branding.

One older image that we sometimes encounter is specifically prohibited.

Old logo/icon Problem
Not protected by trademark, but simply a fairly archaic informal branding.
Variation on the 1990s informal Python logo.
Around 2005, Python wished to move from a "cute" animal icon to something balancing formality and playfulness. The current logo works better as an icon than this old image.
The author of the Python logo, Tim Parkin initially created a more squared off version, before refining it. The version is PROHIBITED since it is dilutive of the final design.
Correct version. As well as rounding the shape somewhat, Tim Parkin adjusted the colors somewhat, added a slight gradient, and a subtle shadow. You do not need to retain the colors, gradient, or the shadow, but you must keep the shape.

Do you have a logo usage sheet we can pass on to our designer?

Yes, you can download our Python Logo Usage Guidelines PDF, which lists permitted uses and common cases to avoid.

Here's a preview:

Can other logos be permitted?

A number of very nice designs have been "inspired by but not derived from" the Python "two snakes" logo. It is possible to make something that is abstractly suggestive of the Python logo, but does not actually use any of it's trademarked shape. A very good example of this is an older PyCon China logo:

What font is used in the Python logo?

The font used in the logo is called "Flux Regular". The PSF owns a copy but we cannot distribute it, except for work on the PSF's behalf.


Courses or Books

Do I owe a royalty if I use the logo in a course or a book?

Since you are using the logo to refer to the Python programming language, this is nominative use and does not require our permission. Things would be different if you were to embed the logo in some other logo in order to promote your courses.

Please make sure that you are using the logo unchanged.

How should I indicate the trademark in a book?

You need to add a TM notice to the books somewhere, usually in the imprint, e.g.:

"Python" and the Python Logo are trademarks of the Python Software Foundation.


Python Package Index

May I use the PyPI logo? Isn't that logo dilutive of the Python logo since it changes the shape?

The Python Package Index (PyPI) is maintained and governed by the Python Software Foundation. Therefore, the related and derived logo used for the project is an additional reserved trademark chosen for its thematic connection to the Python logo.

Logo with wording Unadorned logo
PyPI with words Simple logo

You may not use the PyPI logo for another software index websites, which could be confused with the official PyPI site. However, use of the logo to indicate the availability of your particular package on PyPI is likely to be permissible. Please refer to the FAQ above on "What does it mean to "leave the shape unaltered"? Contact the Trademarks Working Group for explicit permission to use the logo in the context you intend to use it. The icon itself may sometimes be used without the accompanying text, with permission.