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 a lawsuit against attorney William R. Della Croce, Jr., of Boston, who had registered the trademark in the US in September 1995[2] and began in 1996 to send letters to various Linux distributors, demanding ten percent of royalties from sales of Linux products.[3] A petition against Della Croce's practices was started,[4] and in early 1997, WorkGroup Solutions, Yggdrasil, Linux Journal, Linux International and Torvalds appealed the original trademark assignment as "fraudulent and obtained under false pretenses".[4] By November, the case was settled and Torvalds owned the trademark.[2]

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.[5]


  1. ^ Linux US trademark registration
  2. ^ a b Richardson, Marjorie (1 November 1997). "Ownership of Linux Trademark Resolved". Linux Journal (43). 
  3. ^ a b Neil McAllister (2005-09-05). "Linus gets tough on Linux trademark". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2016-09-02. 
  4. ^ a b Hughes, Phil (1 March 1997). "Action Taken on Linux Trademark". Linux Journal (35). 
  5. ^ "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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