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OpenAg Brand Guidelines

The beauty of our open source project is that the more people that build on OpenAg, the stronger the community becomes, and the faster we get to our collective vision of a more transparent, enabled, sustainable food system.

We recognize the community needs guidance for sharing their contributions and participation in the project. These guidelines are meant to do a few things:

  • We want to make it possible for anyone to build, modify and improve upon OpenAg's open source hardware and software.
  • We’d like to make it easy for anyone to use the OpenAg name or logo for community-oriented efforts that help spread and improve OpenAg.
  • We’d like to make it clear how OpenAg-related businesses and projects can (and cannot) use the OpenAg name and logo.
  • We’d like to make it hard for anyone to use the OpenAg name and logo to unfairly profit from, trick or confuse people who are looking for official OpenAg resources.

The Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg) is part of MIT, and MIT has rules about endorsement, implied endorsement including claiming 'partnership' or 'collaboration,' and using the MIT name or the names of research groups and projects (check out the legalese). What does this mean for the OpenAg community? Let's walk through it…


  • Use “OpenAg” as the umbrella term for the project and/or the open source community.
    • CamelCase the name with an uppercase “O” and uppercase “A,” lowercase “g”.
  • Use “the MIT Open Agriculture Initiative” to refer to the academic research arm of the project.
  • Use the “Open Agriculture Foundation” to refer to the non-profit we've set up to protect and support the open source project.
  • At least for now, “Food Computer” is a proper noun.
    • “Food Computer” is an umbrella term and refers to all scales of controlled environment agriculture devices that the OpenAg community develops.
    • A Food Computer is a type of device, like a PC or a 3D Printer
    • If the device is one of the canonical OpenAg designs - a Personal Food Computer, a Food Server, or a Food Data Center - you can refer to it as an OpenAg™ Food Computer.


  • OpenAG, openAG, openag
  • “food computer,” “Food computer”
  • Terms implying endorsement or formal affiliation (like 'partnership' or 'collaboration'), particularly in marketing, advertising or product descriptions, shouldn't be used when referring to the MIT Open Agriculture Initiative, or OpenAg (see note below about advertising compliance with OpenAg hardware, software, and data).

Trademark Policy

WIP. Our trademark policy is under development.

The trademarks “OpenAg™” and “Food Computer™” are being registered under the Open Agriculture Foundation. Some goals of our trademark policy:

  • Any derivative work based on the OpenAg's code will need to be licensed with a compatible open source license.
  • Any OpenAg derivative hardware must be minimally compliant to our hardware standards and application program interface (API), though you can of course go above and beyond, and licensed with appropriate open source licenses.
  • The Open Agriculture Foundation is working out a process to 'certify' or denote compatible hardware that wishes to remain closed, but advertise compliance (e.g. use the mark “Works with OpenAg™”). At minimum, we'd like businesses or projects who go this route to share back the data generated by OpenAg-compliant tools (n.b. still working on this piece, data is a new frontier for open source licenses).


  • The Open Agriculture Foundation is the non-profit we've set up to protect and support the open source project.
  • The OpenAg Holdings Public Benefit Corporation (BCorp) is the secured home of community-developed assets, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Open Agriculture Foundation.

See open source branding resources.

openag/branding.txt · Last modified: 2019/04/04 10:57 by prithvi