- Implementations of SUMO are "ontologies" or "information models".
- A conforming implementation is an ontology or information model that:
- Uses terms as defined by the SUMO, or
- Uses terms that are defined (using SUO-KIF) entirely by other terms in the SUMO (or terms in the conforming ontology which are in turn defined using terms in SUMO)
- Is consistent: a contradiction cannot be derived by means of first-order logic from the set of statements belonging to the implementation and the SUMO.

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Note that points #1 and #2 are exhaustive: that all new terms in the new ontology have to be defined in terms of SUMO terms, or be defined in terms of new ontology terms which themselves are defined with SUMO terms. This would prohibit the pathological case of an ontology "conforming" by failing to have any terms in common with SUMO.