Automattic, the company behind the WordPress.com service and much of the development of the WordPress software, has donated the “WordPress” trademark to the WordPress foundation. The foundation was launched by Matt Mullenweg, who of course is the founder of Automattic and the WordPress project.
The point of the foundation is to ensure free access, in perpetuity, to the software projects we support. People and businesses may come and go, so it is important to ensure that the source code for these projects will survive beyond the current contributor base, that we may create a stable platform for web publishing for generations to come. As part of this mission, the Foundation will be responsible for protecting the WordPress, WordCamp, and related trademarks. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the WordPress Foundation will also pursue a charter to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software.
This means that the “WordPress” trademark should theoretically remain separate from the business interests of Automattic. Hopefully the Foundation will refrain from the overprotective practices many businesses and nonprofits practice.