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Re: On the uselessness of Debian trademarks.

Nathanael Nerode writes:

> MJ Ray wrote:
>> On 2004-05-07 14:20:37 +0100 Stephen Frost <sfrost@snowman.net> wrote:
>>> Uh, or they use the Debian trademark for something that's not Debian
>>> at
>>> all..  That's not necessairly claiming it as backing or endorsement
>>> from
>>> Debian.
>> If it's software, it seems illegal anyway.
> But it's illegal because it's a trademark violation.  Not for any other
> reason!  Unless I'm very much mistaken.  If I am someone will have to point
> out the laws under which it's illegal.
> Note that a trademark doesn't have to be registered to exist.

Not being a lawyer, I'm not sure how widely you can claim trademark
rights on a logo.  I know that for plain text, you can safely use
words for different companies in different fields (see, e.g. Apple
Computer vs Apple Records and their dispute).  That is one reason that
the USPTO asks for field of use when registering a copyright.

A trademark does not have to be registered to get common law
protection, but protections for an unregistered trademark are almost
useless: You will not get costs and attorney's fees in a suit for
common law trademark infringement, only in a suit for Lanham Act
(registered) trademark infringement.


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