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Re: Trademark policy for packages?

Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> writes:

> Scripsit Simon Josefsson <jas@extundo.com>
>> I'm packaging Shishi, a Kerberos implementation, for Debian.  The term
>> "Kerberos" is a trademark held by MIT, according to RFC 1510:
> ...
>> My question is: What is Debian's policy on trademarks for terms used
>> in documentation and package descriptions?  Do Debian require that
>> certain usages of a trademarked terms is permitted to be included in
>> Debian?
> Does the use of a trademark word to refer unambiguously to a specific
> technical protocol in package descriptions and documentation (that is,
> not in marketing materials) even require a trademark license? I know
> that it certainly does not in Denmark, but of course that does not say
> anything about the rest of the world.

Even if that is not the case anywhere, is that sufficient?

It seems that you should be able to tell people, in marketing
materials, what is included in Debian.  Like saying "Debian support
IPSEC, TLS and Kerberos.".  Claiming that on the CD cover seem to
violate the request by MIT to not use the Kerberos trademark
commercially.  Permitting usage like that seems like it may be
something that Debian would want to require.

However, it is unclear whether this is a real threat or not.  It is
probably difficult to enforce a trademark claim against Debian,
because there is no obvious legal entity to sue.  Relevant legal
entities that trademark holders can sue (like CD vendors) do not have
the authority to make Debian remove the trademark.  I'm not sure this
is sufficient reason to ignore the problem though.


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