Geocode Trademark

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GEOCODE is a US trademark owned by Geocode, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia, USA.

In January 2013 the OSMF received a cease and desist letter from the lawyers of Geocode Inc, requesting us to refrain from using the term "GEOCODE". The letter specifically referred to the use as part of " ... the Google, Inc. Geocoding Application Programming Interface (API) that used by the OpenStreetMap Foundation to provide a computer program that processes and converts locations into geographic coordinates." While as far as the OSMF board knows neither the OSMF nor the OSM community actually operates any such service, as a precautionary measure we removed the use of URLs that included the term "GEOCODE" from the wiki, these were mainly used to position a marker on a Google map. Further any use of the term geocode where it could be misconstrued as using the trademarked term in an inappropriate way was removed from the wiki and the help site. Please be careful when adding to or editing the wiki to avoid using the trademark in a context where it could be interpreted wrongly (note GEOCODE is registered as a word mark, case is not relevant).

Our legal counsel in the matter has provided us with some samples of usage that do not conflict with the trademark.

Example acceptable uses:

Geocoding accuracy can be greatly improved by first utilizing good address verification practices.
Once the valid address is determined, it is very easy to determine the latitude/longitude coordinates by way of geocoding.
Other means of geocoding might include locating a point at the center of a land parcel, if parcel data is available in the geographic information system database.
Reverse geocoding generates an address from a latitude and longitude
<reversegeocode timestamp="Fri, 06 Nov 09 16:33:54 +0000" querystring="...">
   <result place_id="1620612" osm_type="node" osm_id="452010817">
     135, Pilkington Avenue, Wylde Green, City of Birmingham, West Midlands (county), B72, United Kingdom
    <road>Pilkington Avenue</road>
    <village>Wylde Green</village>
    <town>Sutton Coldfield</town>
    <city>City of Birmingham</city>
    <county>West Midlands (county)</county>
    <country>United Kingdom</country>
How do I do geocoding and routing with OpenStreetMap?
The OpenStreetMap Geocoder Servicer (osm-geocoder) is a Java-based system for geocoding addresses with basis on reference data from the OpenStreetMap project.