[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: On the uselessness of Debian trademarks.

On 2004-05-07 15:56:19 +0100 Stephen Frost <sfrost@snowman.net> wrote:

common law not legislation, but it's the same reason that you cannot call your product "MJ Ray's Moolie Grater" if I produce moolie graters and that's not your one.
Erm, I guess I thought this was the specific reason for trademarks.

"Basically, a trade mark is a badge of origin, used so that customers can recognise the product of a particular trader." http://www.patent.gov.uk/tm/whatis/definition.htm

Perhaps not, IANAL.  If that's not the *reason* for having a trademark
then I don't understand why *anyone* would have one, and clearly that
can't be right because *lots* of people pay a fair bit for them, people
who have really good lawyers.

To go back to the earlier example, "Coke" is not a person, group or business, so I don't think the manufacturing company (Cadbury Schweppes in the UK, IIRC) can use passing-off very easily and trademarks are more straightforward for their aims. I think this is the main use for trademarks, to identify products not named after their manufacturer. Some prefer to use them as a more clear-cut case than passing-off, but again they have very different aims to any likely debian aim.

Debian is in the fortunate situation where our group and our product use the same name as their distinguishing mark.

what exactly they're trying to prevent that wouldn't be infringing
trademark law.

I think the recent "Debian Desktop" web site is an interesting case.

Alright, that's fine, we can stipulate the license under which the
Debian logo is used.
Yes: I say MIT/X11-style now!
Haha.  Personally, I don't particularly care.  So long as we have it
trademarked so that it can't be used to mean some other software product
I don't see the issue of having someone use the Debian logo, or some
derivative of it, on their car, home, shirt, webpage, whatever.

I don't care, so long as we have it DFSG-free and can include it in main. So, we are in opposition...

My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ for creative copyleft computing

Reply to: