LMI Oregon, LLC
Company typePrivate
HeadquartersBeaverton, Oregon, US

The Linux Mark Institute (LMI, fully "LMI Oregon, LLC"[1]) is an organization which administers the "Linux" trademark on behalf of Linus Torvalds for computer software which includes the Linux kernel, computer hardware utilizing Linux-based software, and for services associated with the implementation and documentation of Linux-based products.


The Linux trademark is owned by Linus Torvalds in the U.S.,[2] Germany, the E.U., and Japan for "Computer operating system software to facilitate computer use and operation". The assignment of the trademark to Torvalds occurred after a lawsuit against attorney William R. Della Croce Jr., of Boston, who had registered the trademark in the US in September 1995[3] and began in 1996 to send letters to various Linux distributors, demanding ten percent of royalties from sales of Linux products.[4] A petition against Della Croce's practices was started,[5] and in early 1997, WorkGroup Solutions, Yggdrasil, Linux Journal, Linux International, and Torvalds appealed the original trademark assignment as "fraudulent and obtained under false pretenses".[5] By November, the case was settled and Torvalds owned the trademark.[3]


LMI originally charged a nominal sublicensing fee for use of the Linux name as part of trademarks,[4] but later changed this in favor of offering a free, perpetual worldwide sublicense.[6]

LMI was headquartered in Monterey, California until at least 2005.[7][8] Since at least 2009 it was headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon.[9]


  1. ^ "LMI OREGON, LLC in Oregon". Oregon Companies. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  2. ^ Linux US trademark registration
  3. ^ a b Richardson, Marjorie (1 November 1997). "Ownership of Linux Trademark Resolved". Linux Journal. No. 43.
  4. ^ a b Neil McAllister (2005-09-05). "Linus gets tough on Linux trademark". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  5. ^ a b Hughes, Phil (1 March 1997). "Action Taken on Linux Trademark". Linux Journal. No. 35.
  6. ^ "Linux Mark Institute". Retrieved 2008-02-24. LMI has restructured its sublicensing program. Our new sublicense agreement is: Free — approved sublicense holders pay no fees; Perpetual — sublicense terminates only in breach of the agreement or when your organization ceases to use its mark; Worldwide — one sublicense covers your use of the mark anywhere in the world
  7. ^ "Linux Sublicense Agreement". www.linuxmark.org. Archived from the original on 2004-10-09. Retrieved 2005-10-09.
  8. ^ "Changes at the Linux Mark Institute". LWN.net. June 22, 2005. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  9. ^ "Sublicense Agreement | The Linux Mark Institute". www.linuxfoundation.org. Archived from the original on 2009-09-05. Retrieved 2017-03-31.