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Re: Logo trademark license vs. copyright license

Francesco Poli wrote:
> On Thu, 12 Apr 2007 13:06:39 +0200 Arnoud Engelfriet wrote:
> > "Your use of the trademark may not create a sense of endorsement,
> > sponsorship, or false association with the trademark holder.
> > 
> > Your use of the trademark may not diminish the distinctiveness 
> > of the trademark or harm the reputation of the trademark holder."
> Firstoff, thank you very much for your experienced contribution!
> Anyway, I have a question: does the latter ("may not [...] harm the
> reputation of the trademark holder") prevent me from stating
>   "Debian GNU/Linux sucks badly"

Good point. I would say no, as long as it is clear that "use"
in the above sentence refers to a use covered by trademark. It
is actually in most trademark laws that you can't use a mark
in a way that harms the reputation of the owner.

(This is the basis of those lawsuits against ${COMPANY}sucks.com)

15 U.S.C. 1125 (aka section 43 of the Lanham Act) for example states:
(c) (1) The owner of a famous mark shall be entitled, subject to the
principles of equity and upon such terms as the court deems reasonable, to
an injunction against another person's commercial use in commerce of a mark
or trade name, if such use begins after the mark has become famous and
causes dilution of the distinctive quality of the mark, and to obtain such
other relief as is provided in this subsection. 

I do admit I stepped a little quickly over the "famous" aspect.
I can see this bit can cause problems for Debian, so perhaps it's
best to just drop that part.

> possibly with the swirl (== Open Use Logo) associated to the sentence?

As an aside, in my experience courts are more likely to forbid use
of graphical marks than word marks in cases like this. You can't
criticize a company without mentioning its name, but do you really
need to show its logo? 


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch & European patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies: http://www.iusmentis.com/

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