OpenSRP Trademark

Q1: Why did Ona file this on behalf of the Open Source Product and - Community?

A1:  The funding and mandate to file a trademark application for OpenSRP came from Digital Square, as part of a global goods grant Ona received from them. The purpose of the grant was to help OpenSRP become a more mature global goods product, and one of the tasks we were to perform was to file a trademark application. 

The grant from Digital Square ran from Jan. 2019 - Mar. 2021, and with the funds, Ona had to complete various tasks, including: rebuild and launch a new OpenSRP website; build the OpenSRP Web instance that allows for better user management; improve authentication and security features on the platform, and register the trademark (among other things).

The trademark had to be filed in the name of one (single) legal entity.  This would be the entity entitled to, and responsible for suing those who abuse the mark.

Because we felt it would take more time / money and coordination to set up a new legal entity (like the OpenSRP Foundation - for example) in the given grant timeframe, it was decided that the quickest and most cost-effective way to do this, was for Ona Systems Inc (a US-registered legal entity), to file the mark in the USA.

Q2: Why did Ona file this only in the USA?

A2:  We considered various options in terms of where to file the application.  

Option 1: File it in all the countries where OpenSRP is currently used.  We are in 16 countries now and to file in each of these would take about a year and would cost roughly $20,000.  (Our budget for this was $3,000)

Option 2: File it in the countr(ies) where most of the OpenSRP project funding comes from (this is mainly the USA, but also UK, Germany)

Option 3: File it in the same country where we have an existing legal entity that could do the filing in that same country - This would be quicker and easier and this is the one we chose.

Q3: What exactly was filed?

A3:  The name “OpenSRP” as well as these 2 logos were filed:


Q4: When exactly was it filed?

A4:  20 November 2020

Q5: Who filed it?

A5: Application was filed (reference number: 90301382) by South African Law Firm, Adams and Adams, through their counterparts in the USA.

Q6: Under which classes did we file?

A6:  We filed under 2 classes:

  • Class 09: Downloadable software for monitoring, analysing, controlling and running applications in the health workforce management
  • Class 42: Software development, software design and computer programming services

Q7: Is this now it, or can the open source community behind OpenSRP change our minds?

A7:  It depends….. 

Ona is very open to transferring ownership of the trademark application to the OpenSRP Governance Structure or a new legal entity that is formed from this structure, or formed by some of the technical or implementation partners, if:

  • that is something that the community and the 2 governance committees feel we should do, 
  • that motion receives a majority vote from members of this PMC (Project Management committee), 
  • there is commitment to help to co-fund the endeavour to 
    • set up and register a new legal entity and 
    • transfer the legal ownership to the trademark to the new entity.

If you have more questions on the OpenSRP Trademark, please email them to