Question on use of Xlogo

Jeremy C. Reed reed at
Tue Feb 2 06:38:32 PST 2016

On Mon, 1 Feb 2016, Jim Brown wrote:

> In this video I'm using a stylized version of the  X logo (see attached
> PNG).  It's for a 16:9 aspect ratio for the YouTube environment. 
> Note that the videos are educational only - there are no commercial
> endorsements in the videos.
> Is there any attribution or licensing needed for this use?

Hi Jim,

The X logo is not currently trademarked (per USPTO). I found over 500 
trademarks (live and dead) for "X" word marks, but I didn't see any 
related to this X. I found 125 trademarks owned (or previously owned) by 
MIT, couple for The Open Group, and none for, but the closest I 
found was unrelated word mark for MIT's "Athena".  Also the's 
board minutes show discussions about trademarks but don't appear to be 
done. I see old docs (1988 in one example) saying X Window System is a 
trademark of MIT, but I cannot find any history of that via USPTO (and 
also that is not the same as just the X logo).

The graphic itself was shipped as code since around 1988 (X11R2) under 
the open source MIT license. I'd suggest that the rendered 
representation of that code is also under the same copyright and usage. 
It has been widely reused by many for the past 25 years. I'd just use 
the copyright and permission text from the code you got it from as part 
of your attribution. (By the way, the old permission text changed since 

  Jeremy C. Reed

p.s. I am a member of both of the groups in this email, but I don't 
represent X.

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