THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE TRADEMARK GUIDELINES

The information presented here is intended to help clarify the proper use of the Pomodoro Technique name and logo/image/mark. Since regulations on Trademark and Copyright Laws are not always clear, we have attempted to make the information as clear as possible, including concrete examples and scenarios.


1. Our Trademarks

The Pomodoro Technique® is a time management technique designed to help individuals and teams manage time effectively. The “Pomodoro Technique®” and “Pomodoro®” are registered trademarks by Francesco Cirillo. The protection of these marks is entrusted to the Francesco Cirillo’s company FC Garage. We identify our products and services with our trademarks, which consist of names, logos, figurative words and the characters and colors identified below.

pomodoro-logo the-pomodoro-technique-text pomodoro-text timer-logo

We consider these marks to be valuable assets. In order to protect our interests, it is necessary that they are used in an appropriate manner.


2. Regarding the Trademark

To understand the content of the Guidelines, it is important to remember that the essential function of a trademark is to exclusively identify the commercial source or origin of products or services, such that a trademark, properly called, indicates source or serves as a badge of origin.

So, there will generally be infringement of the brand every time a third party creates – voluntarily or involuntarily – confusion about the origin of the mark, ascribing to it the commercial origin of goods or services covered by the mark, improperly using the logos (figurative or textual).

Improper use shall also mean deformation of the images, the misspelling of the text and usage of parts of the logo and/or text.

It is also important to note that the unauthorized exploitation of the brand by third parties is not only unauthorized when they use the brand for profit, but also when using it for free, because in any case, it restricts the possibility of use by those who have registered it.


3. Recognition of Copyright and Ownership of the Mark

Use of the terms “Pomodoro Technique®” and “Pomodoro®” must be explicitly authorized by us.

Attributing it to yourself, others, or – if authorized – not explicitly mentioning the trademark holder in blogs, conferences, books, or any other form of communication is a violation of copyright and trademark protection.

General Rule: Even if we explicitly authorize the use of our mark you may not identify the brands “Pomodoro Technique®” and/or “Pomodoro®”, image and/or text, without stating the holder of that mark. The attribution to Francesco Cirillo in the case of the marks for “Pomodoro Technique®” and “Pomodoro®” is based on both copyright and Trademark Law. In addition to what is said of trademark protection, Copyright Law also provides that ownership of the work is given to its author, and not to others. For example, – even if we explicitly authorize you to use our marks – you may not write an article about the “Pomodoro Technique®” without quoting the author. This may lead the reader to attribute the origin in a misleading way. Obviously, the worst case is an explicit attribution of the technique to someone else other than Francesco Cirillo.


4. General Rules for the Use of the Mark (Figurative and Textual)

Use of the mark (figurative or textual) means when someone wants to use our brands with one of their products or services.

Examples of products can be, but are not limited to:

  • Timer;
  • Software application – desktop, server, mobile;
  • Hardware application;
  • Website/domain;
  • Articles and blog posts;
  • Notebooks;
  • Books.

Examples of services may be, but are not limited to:

  • Training;
  • Software Services;
  • Education;
  • Consulting;
  • Business.

As we have said, it makes no difference whether or not the product or service for which the trademark is being used is free or not. The most important thing to remember when dealing with others’ use of a trademark is to ensure that there is no confusion between its products and services and those of the trademark holder. In other words, you must ensure that – in good or bad faith – you do not create confusion about the origin of the product or service. You should not lead people to believe that the third party has any relationship with the trademark holder.

In addition to what is indicated in sections 1, 2, and 3, you may not:

  • Use any portion of the “Pomodoro Technique®” or “Pomodoro®” mark, image or text as part of your product or service;
  • Use or make derivative use of “Pomodoro Technique®” trademark icons. Examples of Unauthorized use of our iconography are the use of a tomato or part of a tomato; the use of a tomato or part of a tomato with a ring nut with the times; etc. In particular, if the color of the tomato is red;
  • Apply for a trademark with a name including “Pomodoro Technique®” and “Pomodoro®” or significative parts or misspelling of Pomodoro and Pomodoro Technique;
  • Create and use any representation, interpretation or distortion of marks “Pomodoro Technique®” and “Pomodoro®”- both images and text;
  • Use significant parts, distortions, or misspelling of the brand “Pomodoro Technique®” and “Pomodoro®” that can lead to confusion about the origin of the brand. Examples: “Pomocoro” or “Pomo Technique”;
  • Give greater emphasis – if authorized – to the brand “Pomodoro Technique®” and “Pomodoro®” compared to that of brand names that identify your business.

Let’s take an example: The Pomodoro Team often receives feedback, inquiries, or notices of defects for mobile applications created by third parties that have no relation with us. Those applications, in good or bad faith, use a tomato as a symbol and/or the product name contains the word “pomodoro” or a distortion of it, or have a direct and inappropriate link to the Pomodoro Technique®.

Each of the illegitimate uses above may create confusion among users about the origin of the brand and the legitimate registrant of the mark and characterizes a scenario that is unlawful exploitation of our protected interests.

General Rule: No one can use our trademarks without our explicit and formal permission. Unauthorized use of our trademarks is a violation of Trademark Law.


5. Guidelines for Software, Hardware and Domain Registration

No software application (desktop, server, mobile app) nor hardware product (mechanical or digital timer) can be created using the context/idea/reports of the Pomodoro Technique without specific authorization.

Thanks to the registration of the trademarks “Pomodoro Technique®” and “Pomodoro®” we have the right to exclusive use for the creation of software applications and hardware and mechanical tools (products). In other words, it is an illegitimate use for any third party software application (desktop, server, mobile app) or hardware product (mechanical or digital timer) to have a brand name that can be confused with the “Pomodoro Technique®” or “Pomodoro®”. It is irrelevant whether these products are offered free of charge. In other words, no third party can make products that exploit or limit our trademarks without our express and formal authorization.

In addition to what is indicated in sections 1, 2, 3 and 4, you may not:

  • Implement web sites or software applications that violate our brands;
  • Use a portion of the “Pomodoro Technique®” or “Pomodoro®” mark, image or text, as part of your product, website or application name;
  • Implement tools or mechanical hardware (timer or other systems which implement the technique) that violate our brands;
  • Use “Pomodoro Technique®” or “Pomodoro®” or significant parts or misspellings of those words in the name of your website or applications;
  • Register a domain that contains “Pomodoro Technique®” or “Pomodoro®” or significant parts of those marks or misspellings.

You can write to legal@pomodorotechnique.com for any clarification or further information.


6. Guidelines for the Design of Websites

In addition to what is indicated in sections 1, 2, 3 and 4, you may not:

  • Copy the Pomodoro Technique look and feel of the site www.pomodorotechnique.com (including colors, combinations of colors, fonts, and any other graphic illustration);
  • Give greater emphasis – if authorized – to the brand Pomodoro Technique® and Pomodoro® compared to that of brand names that identify the business site;
  • Insert a link to the Pomodoro Technique website (www.pomodorotechnique.com) from the content of your website in such a way as to lead one to believe that your website is part of or connected in an official way to that of the Pomodoro Technique.

Note: Remember that the goal is always to allow the user to distinguish the origin of the brand. If your site is organized in such a way as to induce doubt the user, then it is trademark infringement.


7. Guidelines for Writing a Book or other Written Work (Blog Post, Article, etc) about the Pomodoro Technique

What should you do if you want to include your own experience using the Pomodoro Technique on your blog/site, and to avoid infringement of trademarks?

Ask for a specific authorization.

We are very pleased when Pomodoro Technique users want to describe their experiences and share them with others. Therefore, we tend to authorize usage of the brand in such cases. However, if the article or blog post is written with the intention of generating a profit or oriented towards promoting the sale of a product or service, it will not be authorized.

As seen in the preceding paragraphs – if authorized -, whenever you quote one of our brands it is necessary in each case to indicate the symbol ® and indicate clearly the trademark holder. For example, if the title of your authorized blog post is “This is my experience after a week of applying the Pomodoro Technique®”, the trademark symbol must be used and the sentence “the Pomodoro Technique® is a registered trademark by Francesco Cirillo” must be clearly stated within the post itself. In addition, at the end of the article, we request that you clearly display the phrase “This [blog/website/wiki…] is not affiliated with, associated with, or endorsed by the Pomodoro Technique® or Francesco Cirillo.”

Even the writing of books is subject to trademarks registered by us. In general, the criteria on the use of graphical representations and text are applied. Moreover, the contents of the Pomodoro Technique are protected by the CC license which prevents it from being used commercially or extended.

In regards to the writing of books and other written works (blog posts, articles, etc.) about the Pomodoro Technique, in addition to what is indicated in sections 1, 2, 3 and 4, you may not:

  • Tell or quote some or all of the content of the Pomodoro Technique in your book, article or blog post;
  • Include the figurative mark or the text mark “Pomodoro Technique®” or “Pomodoro®” in the title of the book, article or blog post;
  • The title of your work should not lead the reader to consider it to be an official work of the Pomodoro Technique. For example: “Guide to the Pomodoro Technique” is inappropriate;
  • Use our figurative mark on the cover of the book or in the title. Doing so would lead one to believe it is an official Pomodoro Technique product;
  • Extend the content of the Pomodoro Technique.

These are violations of the use of our brand and/or under Creative Commons. In general, we are pleased if authors want to talk about the technique and especially their experience with the technique. We often receive requests of this type and we tend to allow this type of publication if there are no violations.

Also in this case it is necessary to obtain explicit authorization from us regarding your objective. You can write to: legal@pomodorotechnique.com.


8. Guidelines for Training on the Pomodoro Technique

The regulation of the brand grants to us exclusive right for training using the Pomodoro Technique® or Pomodoro® brand, whether free or for a fee. In other words, the organization and implementation of any educational activity – such as seminars, courses, workshops, etc. – are an unlawful exploitation of the brand, as well as any supporting materials that make inappropriate use of the Pomodoro Technique mark. In other words, no one can create services using our trademark without our express and explicit authorization.

In addition to what is indicated in sections 1, 2, 3 and 4, you may not:

  • Give a title to an activity or training event that infringes upon the figurative or textual mark “Pomodoro Technique®” or “Pomodoro®”. For example, you cannot call a course “Improve your productivity with the Pomodoro Technique” or “The Pomodoro Makes You More Efficient”, or “Pomodoro Technique Workshop”;
  • Teach the content of the Pomodoro Technique. That should be understood to offer a training exercise entirely focused on the technique and then using our trademarks or figurative text.

For any information and or clarification, please contact us at legal@pomodorotechnique.com.


9. Guidelines for Merchandise and Manufactured Items

We do not allow the use of the brand for the merchandising of products such as notebooks, clothing, hats, mugs and more, nor are there any licenses for the use of figurative trademark and text relating to “Pomodoro Technique®” and “Pomodoro®”. For the possibility of doing this, you should ask for and obtain an explicit and formal authorization from us. You can send an email with your project details to legal@pomodorotechnique.com.


10. Updates

This document was updated on 22.08.2013 and is subject to change. The most recent version of the Trademark Guidelines will always be posted here and is the one that should be referred to.