The Firebird brand (name and associated images) is a protected trademark for International Class 9 Goods and Services, controlled by the Firebird Foundation Incorporated. International treaties provide protection for our established usage of our brands and marks, as long as we actively protect it. We publish this FAQ to help members and the public to understand how our name and marks may or may not be used without violating our rights.
How can I contact the Committee about branding issues?
To email the Committee:
Click here


What is International Class 9?
Class 9 is class of goods and services recognised by international trademark protection treaties that covers data processing apparatus and software, amongst a very broad range of electrical and scientific apparatus categories.
May I use 'Firebird' in the trade name of my software product, computer service, web service or data appliance that is not related to the Firebird database software?
No. Any such usage is a frank violation of our legal right to the brand.
May I use 'Firebird' in the trade name of my product or service related to the Firebird database software?
No individual person or company has any implicit right to use 'Firebird' as the name, or as a main element of the name, of any product or service in this class. However, you may apply to the Firebird Foundation's committee for permission to use our branding in a specified way for a specified product or service. Such permission, if granted, will not extend to, or be transferrable to, other products or services that you offer. You must apply for each usage individually.
May I use 'Firebird' in the name of my company, which provides goods or services related to the Firebird database software?
You may not use 'Firebird' in your company's registered name, nor in any trading name used by your company, with respect to any product or service covered by Class 9 trademarks.
You may apply for permission to associate your company or trading name with a slogan containing the word 'Firebird', provided the slogan appears in association with your company's own branding and it cannot be inferred that your company owns or controls the Firebird brand or any products or services owned or authorised by the Firebird Project or the Firebird Foundation.
May I use 'firebird' in my company or private domain name?
We have no way to stop you, except that the domain names 'firebirdsql.*' already have a long-standing brand association with the Firebird Project and the Foundation. The 'firebirdsql' string is also used within some driver structures as a file identifier and the phrase 'Firebird SQL' is commonly associated with our branding. We reserve the right to protect this association and restrict usage of such domains to non-commercial purposes that provide direct, free information and support to language-localised communities of users of the Firebird Project products.
If you own such a domain, you are not obliged to transfer it to us, although you may apply to do so if you wish. We do ask that community members planning to set up a firebirdsql.* website contact us to request permission to use our logo images and to let us know that you exist.
Is it OK for me to display the Firebird brand images on my website?
If you're using Firebird in your products or as the back-end to your website, you are encouraged to use one of our "gloat logos" wherever you like. If you are a member or a sponsor, you are entitled to use the appropriate "supporting Firebird" logo while your membership or sponsorship is active. Ad hoc donors are welcome to use the "I donated to Firebird" button image for a year.

If you are the coordinator of a non-commercial open source project related to Firebird, you may use the official Firebird images on your project's home pages. We encourage you to inform us when you do so, as it will help us to keep track of what is happening in our wider technical community.

Otherwise, nobody, other than the active Firebird codeworkers, has the automatic right to use the official Firebird logo images on websites, promotional materials, products, publications or stationery, either as-is or as part of another logo. Permission and approval of the form of usage must be obtained. Companies and individuals that contribute actively to Firebird development have a stronger case for approval than non-contributors.
Do I need permission to sell merchandise items with Firebird branding?
Yes, the reproduction of our branding images on merchandise items such as t-shirts, caps, pens, mugs, mousemats and so on must be authorised by us. If you are not already a significant, active sponsor, then be prepared to offer at least 10 per cent of the profits from such sales to the Foundation's funds.
What happens if I violate your branding rights?
The Firebird Foundation is a voluntary, non-profit organisation supporting the development of free, non-commercial, open source software. Theft of our rights, especially by commercial vendors, is not taken kindly by the Firebird community. Its members are encouraged to report any violations they find. The charter of the Foundation obliges us to pursue offenders and to seek remedy. You will be contacted and asked to correct the situation. It will be in your best interest to resolve things promptly and courteously.
Persistent violators should not be surprised to find themselves the object of undesirable publicity. Our BLACKLIST is well meta-tagged to ensure that it will appear in association with your own web pages in Internet searches.
You haven't registered the Firebird trademark in my country. That means you have no branding rights here.
That is not the case. Registration of a trademark is not a legal requirement to establish branding rights. Under the international treaties, branding rights are established by active prior use and absence of challenge. Even in countries where our registration does not apply, our undisputed prior use since 2000 prevails over any subsequent claim, regardless of the existence of a local trademark registration.
Where can I read your trademark usage policy?
Our policies for trademark usage and external website standards are works in progress. Until these are published, please feel free to contact us for clarification of any of the points addressed in this FAQ. As the works progress, members will be invited to contribute their ideas to these policies.
Don't the branding restrictions cut out loyal users who don't want to join the Foundation?
Doesn't it depend on how you define loyalty? You get free software, free support if you need it, and benefit greatly from the contributions of others. Users who like Firebird and have reasons to want it to keep going can demonstrate their loyalty by becoming contributors and sharing the right to use our marks.
How can I contact the Committee about branding issues?
To email the Committee:
Click here

If you need to contact us by snail mail, you will find our registered postal address HERE.