Linux Mark Institute

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The Linux Mark Institute (LMI) is an organization which administers the "Linux" trademark on behalf of Linus Torvalds for computer software which includes the Linux kernel, computer hardware utilizing Linux-based software, and for services associated with the implementation and documentation of Linux-based products.

The Linux trademark is owned by Linus Torvalds in the U.S.,[1] Germany, the E.U., and Japan for "Computer operating system software to facilitate computer use and operation". The assignment of the trademark to Torvalds occurred after attorney William R. Della Croce, Jr. began in 1996 to send royalty demand letters to various Linux distributors, claiming to own the Linux trademark for which he filed in August 1994.[2] The distributors together appealed against the original trademark assignment and had it reassigned to Linus Torvalds.

LMI originally charged a nominal sublicensing fee for use of the Linux name as part of trademarks,[3] but later changed this in favor of offering a free, perpetual worldwide sublicense.[4]


  1. ^ Linux US trademark registration
  2. ^ Linux Journal Staff (2006-05-31). "Linux Timeline". Linux Journal. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  3. ^ Neil McAllister (2005-09-05). "Linus gets tough on Linux trademark". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  4. ^ "Linux Mark Institute". Retrieved 2008-02-24. LMI has restructured its sublicensing program. Our new sublicense agreement is: Free — approved sublicense holders pay no fees; Perpetual — sublicense terminates only in breach of the agreement or when your organization ceases to use its mark; Worldwide — one sublicense covers your use of the mark anywhere in the world 

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