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Practical Guide to the Open Brand
Copyright © January 1998 The Open Group

Trademark License Agreement

The Trademark License Agreement is the legal contract between The Open Group and each organization (licensee) wishing to register products in the Open Brand Program. It lays down the obligations and rights of each licensee. Because the licensee publicly "warrants and represents" that each Registered Product will conform to the Product Standard, the buyer has a guarantee that the product will conform to the specification and will continue to do so.

Note that the buying relationship is between the supplier and the buyer. The Open Brand is used as a quality mark that provides additional, explicit benefits when the product purchased is registered in the Open Brand Program.

Buyers look for the Open Brand mark and often mandate that products offered in response to their procurement documents carry the Open Brand. At the beginning of 1997, over U.S.$23 billion of IT purchases had so far made use of the Open Brand.

The Open Brand Trademark License Agreement, together with all the documents it references, governs the Open Brand Program. The trademarks used in the Open Brand Program are registered across the world and are assiduously protected. For this and other historical and legal reasons, X/Open Company Ltd., the U.K. subsidiary of The Open Group, operates the Program and executes the Open Brand Trademark License Agreement under English Law.

The Open Brand Trademark License Agreement includes five Schedules that change over time:

Schedule 1
Lists the trademarks included in the Program.

Schedule 2
Details the costs associated with the Program.

Schedule 3
Lists the territories and classes in which trademarks are registered.

Schedule 4
Details the Standards of Quality-what it means to conform.

Schedule 5
The Trademark Usage Guide that lays down precise rules for the use of the trademarks. It is a practitioner's guide, designed to be used by product managers and marketing professionals to help them use the Open Brand and other trademarks correctly. The Trademark Usage Guide is also available separately, in both printed and electronic forms.

The Open Brand Trademark License Agreement is executed by completing and signing the TMLA Application Form. The signature page must be sent in original or faxed form. The TMLA Application Form can be downloaded from The Open Group web site at

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