Trademark Questions

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Niteesh Prasad

Oct 22, 2021, 4:48:31 PM10/22/21
to sFlow

I am Engineering Director at SevOne, and have a few questions about sflowtool as per the license agreement found here:

2.3 Restrictions.  Licensee agrees that it will not use the Software in a way
inconsistent with the license granted in Section 2.1.  Further, Licensee agrees that, in
exercising its rights under the license granted to it in this Agreement, Licensee will:
(i) strictly adhere to and fully comply with the Specifications; (ii) use the Trademark,
and no other mark, to identify the Software, the Documentation, the Specifications and any
Products that implement the Specifications; (iii) place, in a font or graphic design
designated by InMon,  the phrase "sFlow(R)" on any technical documentation,
sales/marketing materials, catalogs, or other such materials relating to products it
manufactures or markets which it has configured to be compatible with the Software or
otherwise implement the Specifications

  • I'm interpreting this as making sure we have the sflow trademark on the sflowtool. I am not sure if anything else needs to happen here?
  • Does section 2.3(ii) indicate only the sflow Trademark may be used (and no other mark) on the Software, the Documentation, the Specifications, and any Products implementing the Specifications? If a Product does not implement the Specifications, but rather the Software and the Documentation, is there such a Trademark restriction?
  • Similar question applied to section 2.3(iii). If a Product does not contain materials materials relating to products it manufactures or markets which has "configured to be compatible with the Software" or implements the Specifications, does this section 2.3(iii) placement designed by InMon the phrase "sFlow(R)" apply?

I would greatly appreciate any feedback from your team. 


Niteesh Prasad
Director, Software Engineering

Peter Phaal

Oct 22, 2021, 6:11:36 PM10/22/21
to sFlow
Hi Nitesh,

The sflowtool software is licensed under the sFlow License Agreement. The web site referenced in the license provides additional context on the licensing and is the repository for the referenced Documentation:

The sFlow Documentation is primarily concerned with the implementation of sFlow agents and the license is intended to ensure that products that claim to generate sFlow faithfully implement the specifications. The specifications have very little to say about how network monitoring software interprets the sFlow messages that it receives from the agents. The technology is general purpose and there are no constraints on how the the software process and report on the sFlow telemetry. If you have software that is capable of receiving sFlow data, then it makes sense to use the trademark to describe the feature, and the license gives you permission to do so.


Niteesh Prasad

Oct 22, 2021, 10:19:09 PM10/22/21
to sFlow
Hi Peter,

Thanks for the reply. So, this means we don't have to call our product sflowtool (trademarked), which makes sense, but wanted to double check.


Peter Phaal

Oct 23, 2021, 11:19:24 AM10/23/21
to sFlow
That is correct - you don't need to incorporate sflowtool or sFlow into your product name, although it would be helpful to users to mention that your product includes sFlow support.

The goal of sflowtool is to provide a useful command line utility, and a starting point for sFlow consumers. There are many applications that embed sflowtool, or are based on sflowtool's decoder.

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