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Re: trademark infringement FreeFOAM

On Sun, 2010-11-21 at 18:20 +0100, Francesco Poli wrote:
> On Sun, 21 Nov 2010 16:04:30 +0100 Gerber van der Graaf wrote:
> > I have to correct  something: Holger Marschall, the author of the
> > "OpenFOAM Documentation Project", explained me he only received some
> > emails where OpenCFD threatened him to write a letter of legally valid
> > cease and desist letter. He actually did not receive it as he put down
> > the website. Also, after he named it to "FOAM Documentation Project",
> > which was put down after OpenCFD complained.
> Were the threats from OpenCFD Ltd. received *before* or *after* the
> renaming from "OpenFOAM Documentation Project" to "FOAM Documentation
> Project"?
> If the answer is "after", I think this could indicate that OpenCFD Ltd.
> is willing to lay claims on the "FOAM" term... I don't know whether
> such claims would hold in a court, but OpenCFD Ltd. seems to *think*
> they would.
OpenCFD sent an email of threat after the web page
http://www.openfoam-documentation.org was launched. Then the author
received another mail of threat after he launched
http://www.foam-documentation.org as abbreviation is forbidden. I also
think OpenCFD tries to claim the 'FOAM' word. It is however very
confusing as there are quite a couple of projects concerning this
OpenFOAM-extend, from prof H.Jasak, the second main author of the
OpenFOAM project and left OpenCFD, probably after a dispute.
pyFOAM and IFOAM, these were mentioned proudly by Jasak during his
presentation at the first meeting of Dutch OpenFOAM Usergroup.
> > 
> > As stated in the OpnCFD trademark policies, the naming OpenFOAM and
> > abbreviations are explicitly forbidden.
> > http://www.openfoam.com/legal/trademark-policy.php
> > 
> > That said I wonder if FreeFOAM is considered as trademark infringement,
> > even by OpenCFD, as a derived naming is not explicitly mentioned to be
> > forbidden.
> Well, there's point 7 of the above-mentioned trademark policy, which
> states, in part:
> | Third Parties must not market products or services using the Trade
> | Marks or any wording that is confusingly similar to the Trade Marks
> [...]   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> If I recall correctly, the concept of "confusingly similar" wording
> comes from trademark laws, which forbid unauthorized uses of a
> trademark and or any mark which is confusingly similar to the trademark
> itself.
> However, whether OpenCFD Ltd. (or a court of law) would consider
> "FreeFOAM" confusingly similar to "OpenFOAM" is still to be assessed.
> > 
> > Therefore, I still have my doubts if even renaming of the FreeFOAM
> > project is required.
> My suggestion to rename FreeFOAM is mainly driven by the goal of
> minimizing the risk of your project name being deemed confusingly
> similar to "OpenFOAM".
> > I will ask an attorney at our university for this.
> Good idea: I hope he/she can help you in the difficult task of finding
> a safe way through trademark laws!    ;-)
> > In addition, the trademark 'Freefoam' has already been used by a
> > construction company and I found two registered US trademarks
> > (extrusion / machinery and a travel luggage and bags company). Whether
> > these companies will be annoyed by our software project remains to be
> > seen.
> As far as I know (but, I repeat, I am not a lawyer), trademark
> infringement occurs when an identical or confusingly similar trademark
> is used by an unauthorized party *for products which are similar to
> the one covered by the infringed trademark*.
> This may mean that the use of "Freefoam" in other markets than
> extrusion machinery or travel luggage cannot be objected to by those
> two companies...
> > At least, this might obstruct OpnCFD to go after FreeFOAM.
> I am not sure...
> > 
> > Thanks a lot for your contributions in searching a new name for the
> > FreeFOAM project. We will definitely take them into account.
> You're welcome, indeed.
> Have a nice day.

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