In June, the WordPress community was divided by the news that the WordPress Foundation was suing the TheWordPressHelpers.com’s Jeff Yablon for trademark infringement.
As most of us already know, the WordPress Foundation forbids the use of the “WordPress” trademark in top-level domains, unless permission is sought and granted.
Due to the infringement, the WordPress Foundation were seeking $100,000 in damages – you can read more about the original lawsuit here.
Jeff Yablon originally fought the lawsuit, but it was announced on Monday that the two parties had reached an out-of-court settlement.
Summary Of The Settlement
For those interested in reading the complete legal document outlining the settlement in full, it’s available to read here.
For those short of time, allow me to paraphrase the obligations of both parties.
Jeff Yablon’s Obligations
- Cease using the WordPress trademarks (name, logo, and other trademarks) by Oct. 1, 2015.
- This includes meta-tags, domains, URLs, keyword advertising, and social media handles.
- Transfer all of the domain names in breach of the WordPress trademark to the WordPress Foundation, within five days.
- Acknowledge that the WordPress Foundation owns the rights to all WordPress trademarks.
WordPress Foundation’s Obligations
- After Yablon has transferred the offending domains, WordPress Foundation will redirect the domains to a URL of Yablon’s choice for six months – providing no further infringements take place.
- The WordPress Foundation will drop all other legal proceedings so that Jeff Yablon will not be sued and forced to pay the $100,000 damages – again, this is dependent on there being no further infringements.
- The WordPress Foundation will not object to Yablon using the WordPress trademark as part of any second-level domains, as is permitted by their T&Cs.
The original lawsuit polarized the WordPress community. On one side, most community members saw that Jeff Yablon was in clear violation of the WordPress Foundation’s well-defined trademarks. On the other, seeking damages of $100,000 seemed excessive.
The out-of-court settlement puts an end to the battle but highlights the potential consequences for anyone in breach of the Foundation’s trademarks going forward. What would have happened had the case reached the courtroom? We’ll never know, but the conclusion seems fair to both parties.
What are your thoughts on the legal wrangling between Jeff Yablon and the WordPress Foundation? Share your thoughts in the comments below!