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Re: Mozilla Foundation Trademarks

On 6/17/05, Gervase Markham <gerv@mozilla.org> wrote:
> John Hasler wrote:
> > Alexander Sack writes:
> >
> >>In general the part of the MoFo brand we are talking about is the product
> >>name (e.g. firefox, thunderbird, sunbird). From what I can recall now, it
> >>is used in the help menu, the about box, the package-name and the window
> >>title bar.
> >
> > I'm not convinced that any of these constitute trademark infringement.
> Then I'm slightly confused as to your concept of trademark infringement.
> If I label the car I've built as a Ford (even if it uses a lot of Ford
> parts), it infringes Ford's trademark.
> I haven't heard anyone else disputing that to ship a web browser called
> "Firefox", Debian needs an arrangement with the owner of the trademark
> "Firefox" as applied to web browsers.

Debian doesn't "need" such an arrangement, as I argued in a previous
thread six months ago; there's the Coty v. Prestonettes standard and
all that.  But IMHO it would be advisable for both sides if such an
arrangement were reached.  I prefer the not-quite-a-trademark-license
arrangement discussed in the thread ending at
http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2005/01/msg00795.html .

But then, I tend to take the "square deal" / "keep people's options
open when that won't result in a tragedy of the commons" approach to
freedom rather than the "natural right" approach.  So I'm
pro-trademark-when-used-to-discourage-misrepresentation, and
pro-real-world-legal-system generally.  This may put me in a minority
among debian-legal regulars.  :-)

- Michael

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