Working Out Loud® and WOL® are registered trademarks of Ikigai, LLC in the US, EU, Switzerland, and Australia, with registrations pending in other countries.
The purpose of the trademarks is to ensure a level of consistency and quality for products and services related to the brand “Working Out Loud.” As Working Out Loud has spread to a wide range of companies and countries, that consistency is increasingly important for consumers (and that kind of “consumer protection” is why trademarks exist). Also, in many regions trademarks are subject to a "first to file" process, so registering the mark assures that I can continue using it. (This is a common practice. The author of Getting Things Done, for example, isn’t the first person to utter the phrase or even write a book about it. He trademarked it so he could preserve the integrity of his method as well as the business he built related to it.)
The purpose is not to restrict people from talking about Working Out Loud (trademarks don’t create such limits anyway), or from using and sharing the WOL Circle Guides. On the contrary, the WOL Circle Guides have always been free and updated regularly, and thousands of people in hundreds of companies have used them. WOL-SC, the new practice, is also free.
However, the trademark does prevent people from marketing or selling certain products, services, and training using the Working Out Loud® or WOL® trademarks, unless they have a license to do so.
What you can do:
Present Working Out Loud in conference and events
Practice Working Out Loud methods in your organization
Help your organization adopt or practice Working Out Loud
Blog or write about Working Out Loud
Share and distribute (but not change) any materials I’ve released under a license that allows it - e.g., the free WOL Circle Guides, blog posts
When you do these things, please refer to workingoutloud.com so people know the source of the materials and can access more resources that can help them.
What you can’t do (without permission):
Modify the free WOL Circle Guides. This material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License. You can download and share it "as is." You can’t change it or offer it as part of any for-fee product or service without explicit written permission. For more information, including a customizable version of the Circle Guides for your organization, contact email@example.com.
Use the Working Out Loud® brand to market or sell your own products, services, or training
Market yourself as a provider of Working Out Loud® implementation, coaching, or support services
Market and sell your own Working Out Loud® training or workshops
There is a small number of WOL Coaches who are licensed to offer certain Working Out Loud® services. These are people I’ve worked with personally and who have made numerous contributions to the WOL community over the years. If you are interested in becoming a licensed WOL Coach, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have any questions about this?
Contact me at email@example.com. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.