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Re: On the uselessness of Debian trademarks.

On 2004-05-09 10:03:26 +0100 Nathanael Nerode <neroden@twcny.rr.com> wrote:

MJ Ray wrote:
The only well-defined situation I can see at the moment is when
someone attempts to claim debian association, backing or endorsement
How about if someone simply starts their own Debian, perhaps producing
proprietary software?  I believe that that is exactly the situation
trademarks were invented to prevent.

This might be an inadvertant attempt to claim assocation, but it is still such an attempt and is covered by common law in the UK. People launching a commercial enterprise in England are expected to check for other similar enterprises already using that trademark and there is little room for argument if you get it wrong, whether or not that trademark was registered.

Now, if that person's name was Mr Debian, or lived in a town called Debian, then we would have difficulty enforcing our name against them unless they made a deliberate move to pass themselves off as us, but I think that is also true if we registered a trademark here (a person's name or address does not infringe a registered trademark, s.11(2)(a)).

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

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