License/Usage of the Fiji logo



I would like to use the Fiji logo in a scientific publication (in a figure for a software that I wrote to indicate compatibility with Fiji).

May I do so?

I have found no information regarding logo licensing. If it is licensed under the GPL, then I am not sure whether I am able to use it in a “closed-access” journal.

I like the way the Python foundation handles this issue:

Uses that Never Require Approval

All trademarks are subject to “nominative use rules” that allow use of the trademark to name the trademarked entity in a way that is minimal and does not imply a sponsorship relationship with the trademark holder.

As such, stating accurately that software is written in the Python programming language, that it is compatible with the Python programming language, or that it contains the Python programming language, is always allowed. In those cases, you may use the word “Python” or the unaltered logos to indicate this, without our prior approval. This is true both for non-commercial and commercial uses.


You are certainly free to use the Fiji logo unmodified to indicate intended compatibility of your software.

Thanks for raising this issue. I agree with the PSF Trademark Usage Policy as far as intent, regarding logos of ImageJ, Fiji, SciJava, SCIFIO, etc. We should add an explicit section to the Licensing page of the ImageJ wiki that discusses the logos; I put it on my to-do list (ctrueden/tasks#7).

The GPL is largely intended for software source code rather than creative works such as logos. The equivalent copyleft license for a logo would probably be the CC-BY-SA 3.0, which says you are free to distribute and/or remix the work, as long as your work is also free to be distributed and/or remixed. This sort of license is likely what we will assign to the SciJava ecosystem logos such as Fiji, although we should have a discussion here first on a separate topic to decide as a community. Publishing the logo in a closed-access journal is probably fine; the journal would have no legal standing to revoke the world’s ability to remix and publish the logo.

(Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer so nothing I say is legal advice per se!)


If you are concerned about it, to avoid headaches just say “compatible with Fiji” in your paper. Really there is no need to use a logo to explain compatibility of a plugin (in fact I am not aware of anybody using logos in relation to IJ or Fiji to state compatibility of a plugin).


Thanks for your input. I think I will just go with using the unmodified logo. I will add supplementary information in the figure caption regarding copyright, though. I also think that it is unlikely anyone will try to sue me for that, given the feedback here and probably also because of lack of general interest in such things.


Most often you need to transfer the copyright of the figures to the publisher, but obviously you do not own copyright of the logo. Be aware that the vast majority of journals will request you to provide a “permission to reproduce” statement from the copyright owner.


OK, I will keep that in mind.