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hinault1970 September 26, 2008 16:39

Has anyone had a look at OpenC
Has anyone had a look at OpenCFD's trademark policy on OpenFOAM? I came across it at

It looks new to me, I haven't seen it before. Has anyone thought about the implications of this policy on the OF community? It seems rather contrary to the concept of open source and a big hindrance to OF's further use and development.

Any comments?

egp September 26, 2008 18:09

Wow! Le Blaireau (the badger
Wow! Le Blaireau (the badger) is posting on the OpenFOAM discussion board!! Why is a 5-time TdF winner interested in OpenFOAM? Maybe you should get on your bike like Lance Armstrong instead of trying to learn C++ and CFD. At 50+, your return to professional cycling would inspire this office-chair CFD jockey to get some fresh air and exercise!

alberto September 26, 2008 19:37

It is new to me too. When did
It is new to me too. When did this policy start to be enforced?


olesen September 29, 2008 02:46

I really don't get the point o
I really don't get the point of this thread. A registered trademark says nothing about the software source being open or closed. Being GPL'd, OpenFOAM is most certainly open source.

As a counter example: do any of the people on the forum honestly have concerns that Linux isn't really open source?

jens_klostermann September 29, 2008 07:50

Hi, ok nothing changes with

ok nothing changes with the code it is still OpenSource (GPL) which is good, but as I read the the trademark rules in every paper we will publish using OpenFoam (do I have to use the trademark sign now? Didn't find it on the Keyboard, sorry) we have to mention that OpenFoam is a registered with OpenCFD (trademark)? Which will be a good free marketing. What say/think the other "comercial" OpenFOAM users = consultants to this?


alberto September 29, 2008 09:18

Hello Mark, I asked only be
Hello Mark,

I asked only because I didn't know of the policy, and probably I didn't respect it fully in some document some time ago. :-)

From my point of view there is nothing wrong in it, even though point 1, if interpreted in a very strict way, might be a problem if you compare OpenFOAM to another code and you say results are worse.

Also, what is the "proper" capitalization? The policy says "OPENFOAM", and the site reports "OpenFOAM(r)".


olesen September 29, 2008 10:08

Hi Alberto, I'm not a lawy
Hi Alberto,

[disclaimer] I'm not a lawyer nor do I work for OpenCFD [/disclaimer], but "defamation" and "disparging" in normal English usage is something well beyond simply comparing code in an objective manner.

As for capitalization, I suspect they might wish to avoid people writing something silly like "oPeNfOaM". But the various capitalization forms are nonetheless normally protected by a trademark when confusion for the end-consumer might occur.

In any case, if OpenCFD uses "OPENFOAM" and "OpenFOAM", it would seem both are okay ... even although I would actually vote for "openFOAM" if asked ;)

carsten October 6, 2008 04:03

Hi Mark, I guess you mean "
Hi Mark,

I guess you mean "openFoam", don't you ?



luca_g October 9, 2008 12:23

It seems that the new policy h
It seems that the new policy has at least had the immediate effect of changing the name of the former "OpenFoam International Conference", scheduled late this year in Berlin, and now became "OpenSource cfd conference", and inducing a review of conference's web site as well.

More to come ?



alberto October 9, 2008 17:23

Hi Luca, the conference is o
Hi Luca,
the conference is organized by ICON, which is not the owner of the OpenFOAM trademark, while it owns the domain registration. It is normal that they didn't want to willingly infringe the trademark policy.

I would not read something more among the lines.


grtabor October 16, 2008 08:37

Hi Alberto, The problem wit
Hi Alberto,

The problem with ICON changing the name of the conference is that "Open Source CFD conference" suggests a different conference aim - there are other possible Open Source CFD codes around (OpenLB for example). ICON may have changed the name to reflect that of course ... but if not it has introduced a level of ambiguity into what they are doing.


alberto October 16, 2008 14:24

Hi Gavin, yes I agree it mi
Hi Gavin,

yes I agree it might be confusing. I simply guessed there is nothing behind that other than the will of respecting OpenFOAM trademark policy.
If there is something else that needs to be said, I think the involved parts should talk, making the community aware of that.

As I said many times, this is supposed to be an open project, and if there are problems they should be discussed here and not kept secret.
It seems to me, however, that this is not happening in general and that lack of communication is a problem.
We don't know anything about OpenFOAM future development, there is no real way to contribute code to OpenFOAM so that our work is maintained without big efforts at every release, users don't exchange information and tend to do technical discussions in private instead than on the discussion board, and so on. If on one hand I understand that for some particular case it is not possible to discuss here, in most of the cases is just lack of will to share. For an open project it's not the way to go, at least in my view.
There are other open codes, with relatively small communities as this one, but with quite an active cooperation between developers and users. I think we should take them as example, and follow their path.


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