Trademark Use Policy
We want to help the Polar Signals User community grow and become even more creative. Toward that end, we welcome the use of our name, trademarks, and logos – within certain limits. We have to set limits because if we don’t, not only would our trademarks and logos no longer serve their purpose of identifying Polar Signals, but we could actually lose our legal rights to them! So before you use our name or one of our trademarks (also called just marks), please check out the details below. The “fine print” further below provides even more detail, which probably states the obvious but which we have to include for completeness.
- Polar Signals’ trademarks. Our trademarks include the words POLAR SIGNALS, as well as its distinctive logos.
Our distinctive mostly-black screens with white borders and text along with green highlights, are also a type of trademark known as trade dress.
- Here are the ways you can use our trademarks without first getting our permission:
a. Casual reference. You can refer to Polar Signals by name in the text of something you post: blog thread or entry, comment, article, etc. You can add a screenshot of an Polar Signals page (or something that’s identifiable as part of an Polar Signals page) – or even one of our logos – to your blog entry, comment, article, etc., as long as it’s clear that the screenshot or logo is part of what you’re commenting about and isn’t used as a header, avatar, or label.
b. Sourcing. You can refer to an Polar Signals URL as the source of an image or other content. (Regarding copyright aspects of the images themselves as well as other content, please see our terms of service.)
c. Non-commercial “useful reference.” If you’re doing something interesting or useful, yet non-commercial (no goods or services advertised or offered for sale, no membership fees, no solicitations for money) involving Polar Signals, you can use the word Polar Signals to describe what you are doing, even as a header or label – “Polar Signals, a place to share profiling data” etc. – without first obtaining our permission as long as you observe three simple rules: First, don’t use any of our marks as part of a domain name. Second, don’t use any of our logos. (That would require our permission.) And third, post the disclaimer “NOT AFFILIATED WITH OR APPROVED BY POLAR SIGNALS” prominently enough and in a sufficient number of places that nobody will be under the impression that your project is produced or approved by Polar Signals. By the way, we still highly recommend that you let us know about any such project, preferably while it’s in the planning stage – we can make sure you don’t accidentally do something that would require our permission, we can grant permission in most cases when needed, and we may be able to offer helpful suggestions and ideas.
- If you’d like to use any of our marks in a way that goes beyond what you can do without our permission, then ask for our permission. We might grant it! Contact us at email@example.com. If we grant permission, it will be in the form of a trademark license. We generally don’t charge for non-commercial trademark licenses; the important thing is that we retain control over how our marks are used. Here are some examples of the types of uses that will require our permission:
a. Using any of our logos as part of a non-commercial “practical reference” (as described above).
b. Using any of our marks as part of a “practical reference” in a commercial context (goods or services advertised or offered for sale, membership fees, solicitations for money, etc.). If you have an Polar Signals-related app that is free but that offers paid upgrades or paid functions, then even the free app is considered to be commercial.
c. Using any of our marks as (or in) a header, label, or avatar.
d. Using any of our marks as part of a product name or logo.
e. Using any of our word marks as part of a domain name.
f. Using any of our marks in a way that might imply sponsorship, approval, or affiliation.
By the way, we never grant permission for screen-scraping or framing.
The fine print
Probably stating the obvious, but necessary nonetheless:
Don’t mess with our marks. No one has our permission to misspell any of our word marks, or to change the depiction of any of our logos (no distortions, color changes, etc.). Except when it’s fair use:
“Fair use” and its limits. Our logos are also copyrighted works of art and no one has our permission to reproduce or make derivative works of any of them, other than for “fair use” purposes. Here’s what U.S. law (17 U.S.C. § 107) says about fair use; most other countries have similar provisions:
[T]he fair use of a copyrighted work . . . for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
If you’d like to reproduce or make a derivative work of any of our logos as (or as part of) a work of art for commercial purposes – anything from a coffee mug or tee shirt to a laser projection on the Moon – that will never constitute “fair use,” so you’ll need our permission in the form of a license. If you have any doubts as to what constitutes “fair use,” or if you would like to request a license, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If these policies don’t cover everything, that doesn’t mean we waive our legal rights.
If nothing in these policies covers your specific situation, we still reserve the right to protect our trademarks and copyrights. And even if you are using one or more of our trademarks or copyrights in a way that does not require you to first get our permission, we reserve the right to tell you to stop using them if, in our view, your use of them would jeopardize our trademark or copyright rights, dilute our trademarks, or violate the posting prohibitions described in our terms of service – which we also apply to the use of our marks.