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PSF Trademark Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

A: PSF Trademark Usage Policy at https://www.python.org/psf/trademarks/.


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

A: Send email to psf-trademarks@python.org.


Q: May I sell merchandise including the Python logo?

A: 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.


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

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


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

A: No.


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

A: 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).


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

A: No.


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

A: No.


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

A: 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".


Q: 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.


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

A: 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 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.

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

A: 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.

Q: Can other logos be permitted?

A: 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:


Q: What font is used in the Python logo?

A: 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.


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

A: 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.


Q: What about on stickers?

A: 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.


Q: 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.


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

A: 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.


Q: May I use the logo or wordmark on business cards?

A: 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.


Q: How should I indicate the trademark in a book?

A: 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.


Q: May I use Python in commerce?

A: 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.


Q: May I use the Python logo for promotion?

A: 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.


Q: May I use of the Python logo on conference swag?

A: 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.


Q: What does the Python logo mean?

A: "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