OpenGL Oval Logo

Just wanted to let you know that I was contacted by SGI and was asked to remove the OpenGL Oval Logo because I wasn’t allowed to have it on my web page…

So all of you that put up links and news here on need to remove your opengl logo as well I guess…

No wonder they’re dying. Instead of trying to innovate or be productive, they spend their time combing the web for any illicit use of their logo or the word “Open” (see OpenIL). It’s always a winning strategy to come down on your fans and supporters.

Let me get this straight, you were asked to remove the OpenGL logo from your web site. The same one they encourage people to put on their web site if you use OpenGL. The one they REQUIRE you to put on your site when submitting a story to on this page, Item 4 on this list of things to do when submitting a story?

The logo they explicitly give everyone permission to use if they use OpenGL on this page:

Could you give us more information?

I’m wondering if they singled you out for this treatment because you have a scene graph product that some pointy haired type at SGI perceives as some form of competition or if this reflects some new policy.

Who sent you the letter and what does it say Tooltech?

Zeno, I’m ready to get all pissed off too, this kind of corporate stupidity generates it’s own rewards, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions on this. In big companies sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing. I’m surprised at this though, I’m also wondering if there is more to this than meets the eye.

Tooltech did they send you this out of the blue… more info please.

Originally posted by dorbie:
I’m also wondering if there is more to this than meets the eye.

Yea, me too. Maybe I’m being too hasty to jump on them like that before we get the whole story.

I’m just dreading the day I get my “letter”. I have the word “OpenGL” on my web site, albeit without the logo.

[This message has been edited by Zeno (edited 12-03-2002).]

My intention is not to get any upset. Not here or in SGI. I have no comments about their intentions ;-). I just wanted to make everyone aware of the fact that thay have the rights to that logo and that they asked me kindly to remove it ASAP. I also has some faulty refs to Performer etc without any TM attached etc…

However… Yes. It is the same logo. I put it up just to get my news about my scene graph distributed on the site.

I was given this link that explains the conditions for usage of the logo…

So when you type the url of this forum in your browser, be sure to capitalize “O”, “P”, and “L”. Maybe you are not required to type the whole disclaimer stating that your browser did not pass the conformance test, and that SGI can not verify its quality.

I’ve long understood SGI’s ownership of the trademark.

Hmm… some pointy haired fool at SGI probably saw your contentious performance comparrisons to Performer and theorized you were undermining their scene graph and they managed to get legal to ask you to remove the OpenGL logo.

It seems like SGI wants to have their cake and eat it here.

It’s OK to use the OpenGL logo unless you work on a graphics product that competes with an SGI product that someone there happens to get a burr up their ass over.

Could Jon Leech or someone else at SGI please bring some sanity back to this situation, or at least explain what the actual policy is.

Just say something nice about Performer…like, performer town had some nice programmer art.

Performer town was built years ago by professional 3D vis-sim modellers before Quake was a twinkle in Carmack’s eye. Only the ignorant call it programmer art, in it’s day it was impressive for what it was, and it certainly wasn’t programmer art. It compares favourably to it’s contemporary Doom (1&2) databases (and the blue wolfenstein stuff).

[This message has been edited by dorbie (edited 12-03-2002).]

Dear god, dorbie, will you get off my back!
Performer town had (has, we’ve still got a copy) some very poor models in it, considering it was a demonstration of the power of performer, I didn’t think it was a particularly good one - hence the programmer art jibe.
It’s my opinion, not ignorance…you remember ‘opinion’ don’t you dorbie? It’s a viewpoint on a subject that may or may not be the same as yours - either way you should at least respect it.

In fairness to Dorbie, knackered, I took what you said to be a -fact- and not an opinion because I have not looked at Performer Town since they used screens of it to promote the N64 (I remember being impressed ^_^). Actually, I probably should have taken it to be sarcasm, which can look a lot like fact unless you mark it clearly.

Knackered, I’m not on your back.

If you post crap (your jibe as you call it), especially about stuff I’ve formerly been associated with I’ll respond. I’m not posting opinion I’m responding with the facts which you continue to ignore.

The N64 Demo Nakoruru talks about was before N64 hardware existed and the shot was drawn on a deskside Onyx With Reality Engine class graphics (4MB of texture memory I think). That should help you date Performer town.

This is years later and standards have evolved as have texture memory budgets, it’s not programmer art, it was modelled by professional 3D vis-sim modellers as an example of a vis-sim database with a limited texture budget, fact not opinion. Most people who were doing graphics at the time were impressed by that database, others certainly borrowed it enough for their own demos. That you come along years later and aren’t impressed just means things have moved on and you weren’t around at the time.

Performer Town was made to run on hardware designed years ago and was built with a limited budget with limited time. Back then nobody did any better on the same hardware.

[This message has been edited by dorbie (edited 12-05-2002).]

Now now children, play nicely.

I just have one question. What is performer and who are SGI? Doesn’t MS own OpenGL? (Sorry that’s 2 questions)

OpenGL owned by M$???
I don’t think that I would get it on my cancer spreading Linux box if this were true.

Performer is a scene graph. Like most scene graphs it helps you program at a higher level than OpenGL and easily do things like only draw the stuff you are looking at and draw it quickly. One of Performer’s strengths is that on big SGI configurations it helps you transparently exploit multiprocessor systems and multiple graphics head systems.

In terms of ownership, OpenGL is controlled by the ARB and how it votes, only the trademark some example source code and conformance tests are owned by SGI (ignoring more complex IP issues). For hardware vendors the ability to use the OpenGL logo and claim support for OpenGL is tied to having a licensing agreement with SGI and being able to pass the SGI library of OpenGL software tests.

This is complicated by SGI releasing the above source code under a more liberal license a couple of years ago to help Open Source developers better support OpenGL, mainly to help the Linux desktop.

None of this really has much to do with SGI’s pique at Tooltech’s use of the logo. This web site is run by SGI and has been encouraging everyone and anyone to use the OpenGL logo to promote OpenGL if they use it in their software.
They’ve singled out Tooltech for removal of the logo, not because he is in any breach (he’s doing exactly what they have in the past insisted he do when posting stories here). I’d guess that someone at SGI got upset when they noticed he compared the performance of his scene graph to Performer. They decided to do what little they could to take the wind out of his sails. They can’t make him take down his performance comparrison, but they can insist he remove the logo.

It’s very petty and more than a little inconsistent. They still have their messaging on giving everyone permission to use the logo on their page if they use OpenGL:

If the right person had realized this I doubt they’d have been dumb enough to insist Tooltech remove the logo, but you never know.

[This message has been edited by dorbie (edited 12-06-2002).]

Originally posted by ToolTech:
My intention is not to get any upset. Not here or in SGI. I have no comments about their intentions ;-). I just wanted to make everyone

You have the right to ask them why they want you to remove it and give them the link to this page. Then explain your reasons for putting up the logo just to make sure everything is well understood.

Of course, you should say who owns the trademarks somewhere on your page and I’ve done that for all my pages.

And sure, they can ask you to remove the logo. Nothing wrong with that. If they ask you to stop using GL, then it would be a good idea to put up the bat-signal as you did here
and someone will come to the rescue


They cannot ask him or anyone else to stop using OpenGL and never would. This logo issue in it’s own right IMHO is worth a bat signal. If SGI is encouraging everyone to use the OpenGL logo on their website and then selectively restricting that for competing individuals I want to know about it. Especially if they still invite everyone to use the logo. If tooltech submits an article to tomorrow can they repost the logo? Are they forever censored on because they don’t have the logo on their page condeming this site to be a mouthpiece of SGI marketing and self promotion?

This corporate befuddlement has raised these questions.

SGI knows this thread is here already.

I’m all for SGI defending their copyrights & trademarks, especially rip-off logos. I’m a bit more concerned by this though. For all we know the logo could just have been caught in the crossfire of some trademark spat, but nobody from SGI dares stick their head above the parapet to offer some clarity.

[This message has been edited by dorbie (edited 12-07-2002).]

From :

Although use of the OpenGL® oval logo is strictly reserved for SGI and its Conforming
Licensees, there are two exceptions to this rule. First, a reseller of a Conforming Licensee’s product may use both the OpenGL® trademark and oval logo to advertise products that bear that trademark or logo provided that the reseller follows the Guidelines. Second, an ISV may use both the OpenGL® trademark and oval logo to describe products sold by the ISV that incorporate products from Conforming Licensees provided that the ISV obtains the OpenGL oval logo directly from SGI’s web site at the following address: <>. At that location,
the ISV will be required to enter into a “clickwrap” license agreement which will spell out the terms and conditions of its permitted use of the oval logo.

We are clearly not allowed to use the OpenGL logo. Any other statement made on or elsewhere is bull****.

However, we can use the “OpenGL®” term, with “O”, “G”, and “L” capitalized and a trailing ®. Anyone with good artistic skills wanting to provide a freely reusable logo to the community ?


Your post is incorrect. The domain is owned by SGI, the trademark owner and is the official ARB site. It is a great example of the confusion they’ve just created though.

This is not B.S. it’s explicit permission granted by the trademark owner for WEB use of the logo, and more it is MANDATED by the trademark owner when you submit news to

SGI can make this clear to us all in a single post, but the permission on would be pulled pretty darned quickly if it was contrary to SGI’s intentions.

Marketing at SGI sit and ponder these issues long and hard before letting notices like that on It did not get there by accident and it has always been known to SGI that this permission was granted, they approved it in the first place, and I’ll bet they wrote the wording.

P.S. IANAL but if you make your own OpenGL logo it you definitely be in violation of their trademark. That’s not ambiguous and they sure wouldn’t want you diluting their logo with your own. I expect they would insist you stop and they would be entirely justified in doing so. Don’t do it, it’s a really dumb idea.

[This message has been edited by dorbie (edited 12-07-2002).]