I'm making software that will be proprietary software, which contains some source code or objects from several different open source licenses such as BSD 3-clause, MIT, MPL, Apache, and GPL 3.0, can I mention the owner of the code or object , what are the provisions regarding the mention of trade names or trademarks when I distribute, sell or provide services to the software that I make?, I hope I get information and references regarding this problem.

  • trademark is separate from copyright, but most open source projects are happy to get credit (in fact the copyright license often requires it). Some, like Firefox, require you to change the name if you change the software. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


Most Open Source software is not trademarked. Even if it is trademarked, you can name the software in a descriptive, accurate manner. For example, you can state that your software is built upon library X. Indeed, nearly all Open Source licenses require that you provide such attribution in the documentation provided with your software.

But you should avoid creating the impression that your software was endorsed or created by the authors of those Open Source components. While this is explicit in some licenses (e.g. original BSD license), this follows more generally from personality rights (in some jurisdictions) or from fair competition laws.

In any case, you should read and understand the licenses of the software components that you distribute. In particular with regards to MPL and GPL, you should note that these are copyleft licenses that will require you to give recipients some or all of the source code, which may prevent some business strategies you would have otherwise pursued.

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