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Re: kleansweep: possible trademark issue?

Claudio Moratti writes:

> Hi *!
> Some days ago I sent a ITP for kleansweep package 
> (http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=329020).
> martin f krafft noticed:
> "Isn't this going to be a trademark issue with CleanSweep for
> Windows?"
> I never heard about CleanSweep, and after a little search I found that 
> 'CleanSweep' is a Symantec Trademark.
> The main problem is that the sound is the same, but the two words have a 
> different spelling.
> Could this be a trademark issue?

It could be.  Lawyers are good at stretching any trademark to seem to
cover what the trademark owner wants it to cover, and the law gives
trademark owners an incentive to be aggressive (in that an
inadequately defended trademark becomes generic).

My guess is that a lawyer's advice would be to change the GPLed
program's name: since the two programs both broadly deal with deleting
files, the chance for consumer confusion exists[1].

Michael Poole

[1]- Trademark laws are generally enacted to prevent consumer
confusion as to the origin or nature of trade goods, and unless you
want to consider a specific jurisdiction's laws, this is a good basis
for analysis.

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