[OpenStack Foundation] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

Thierry Carrez thierry at openstack.org
Mon Nov 30 09:51:04 UTC 2020

Julia Kreger wrote:
> Over the past few weeks I’ve been in a number of discussions regarding
> some of our most very fun topics. Branding, Trademarks, and
> Interoperability.
> [...]

Thanks Julia for starting this timely and important discussion.

I agree that trademarks are not a goal in themselves, they are just 
means to an end, and periodically revising those end goals is necessary.

To add some historical context, my summary would be that until now the 
Board has been using trademarks to drive two strategic objectives:

1- Interoperability: a enduser-centric view of what to expect when 
interacting with "openstack", driving ideally towards an identical 
experience. The tactics (driven by RefStack) were focused on making sure 
a minimal set of APIs were available in products allowed to call 
themselves "openstack", and try to grow that set over time.

2- Branding: an ecosystem-centric view of building a set of "compatible" 
products, driving ideally toward establishing a large marketplace. The 
tactics used for the first objective encouraged products to apply for 
the trademark programs, which was used as a funnel for the marketplace.

As we enter the OIF era, are those end goals still valuable? Are 
trademarks the best tool to achieve them? Are there other key goals we 
should leverage trademarks for? Are the current tactics we use (Refstack 
and powered-by trademark programs) still valid ?

Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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