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Do we have trademark infringements by fonts?


A friend of mine has pointed me that it is very likely that many fonts
have problems with trademark infringement.  I suppose that some
(most?) of the font names are registered, but nevertheless the free
software community has made changes to the original fonts.  XFree86
gives us an example for this.  They have made many changes to the
original fonts by Adobe, Bigelow & Holmes and others; most of these
changes are adding additional non latin1 characters.  However a couple
of years ago one font developer received the following answer from B&H:
> To prevent possible confusion between your versions of the Cyrillic
> characters in the Lucida X11 fonts, and Lucida Cyrillic characters
> we have designed, please change the names of the Lucida bitmap fonts
> you have adapted and modified, to a name that cannot be confused
> with Lucida. "-misc-yasnyj-*" is fine with us.
> To use the Lucida name and trademark with modifications and designs
> not made by Bigelow & Holmes would be an infringement of our
> trademark.

It is possible that my package scalable-cyrfonts has similar problems,
but I don't know how to check this.

So my question is what should we do?  One of the following?

1. Do nothing and use the same font names as now.

2. Do not use font names whose trademark owner has complained and use
   the other font names.

3. Use the font names as now, but make honest attempts to inform our
   users that these are not the original fonts.  The whole purpose of
   trademarks is to protect people not to be fooled.

4. We must onw permition by the trademark owners of all fonts we
   distribute.  We should change the names of other fonts.  However it
   is unclear to me how to check if some name is registered or not.

5. We do not use registered trademarks in font names.

I don't know what is the right legal choice, but as developer I would
suggest not to choose 4, because the font names are the interface to
fonts and we will come to something similar to the problems with the
LaTeX license.

Anton Zinoviev

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