[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Confusingly named outfit

On 06-08-30 23:28 +0100, Wookey wrote:
> Someone else has noticed the punnable possibilities of debian and
> embedded. Some taiwanese outfit is calling itself Embedian and putting
> a 'debian-based' distro on its hardware.
> Don't suppose it has anything to do with emdebian though. 
> http://www.embedian.com/
> A mail to see if they want to co-operate might be in order. 

In fact, thinking about it, and after some discussion on #debian-uk,
we probably need to write to them pointing out that because they have
a confusingly similar name and are opertaing in the same area, they
may be guilty of trademark infringement.

If we don't do this then they may be able to give us a hard time in a
few years, claiming we are infringing their trademark. And as we
preceed them by 5-6 years it's a good idea to establish that priority.

I don't want to give them undue difficulties but I do want to pre-empt
any potential difficulties for us in the future. It is certainly true
that embedian/emdebian are very easily mistyped or otherwise confused.

It seems that a trademark exists whether or not you actually register
one (at least in the UK), although having a registered trademark gives
much greater legal protection. Debian is registered, but emdebian is
not (and neither is embedian). There is also the point that if a
trademark is not defended then it passes into the public domain. I
think we care enough about emdebian to keep the term having it's
current meaning of a community project to make Debian a better
embedded GNU/Linux; as opposed to letting it refer to a particular
and unrelated supplier of embedded ARM hardware. 

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1994/Ukpga_19940026_en_2.htm is the UK
law, which essentially says lots of stuff about registered trademarks,
but also says that even if a mark is not registered using a similar
one may make you guilty of 'passing-off'.

I'd like some feedback from others before firing off a missive.

Perhaps we should also consider registering the trademark. That feels
a bit 'corporate', but maybe it is a good idea in order to be able to
encourage impostors to behave.

Aleph One Ltd, Bottisham, CAMBRIDGE, CB5 9BA, UK  Tel +44 (0) 1223 811679
work: http://www.aleph1.co.uk/                 play: http://wookware.org/

Reply to: