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Re: Registering the Debian Logo as our trademark?



On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 04:13:24PM -0400, Yaroslav Halchenko wrote:
> Hi Brian,
> 
> Just to make sure:  you are talking not about swirl alone, but rather
> about swirl + word Debian.  Is that correct?

Both are now open-use. The only non-DFSG free logo would be the bottle
logo, ISTR. (the font is DFSG free as well now, on it's own, which was a
major theme blocker for a while)

> 
> On Mon, 22 Apr 2013, Brian Gupta wrote:
> 
> > Hi all,
> 
> > I have been helping to field trademark inquiries for Debian since late
> > February, and the issue of our Logo has come up a number of times.
> 
> > Currently, our logo is not a registered Trademark, but is considered
> > (and treated by our current Trademark policy) as a "common law"
> > trademark, in that we have been using it to represent Debian for many
> > years, and many people see it and recognize it as "Debian's logo".
> 
> > I know there have been discussions in the past about moving forward
> > with officially registering the logo, but these discussions seem to
> > have not ended with a clear decision or agreement one way or another,
> > hence the status quo of unregistered common law trademark.
> 
> > Generally speaking, as a matter of law, it would be better if we
> > registered our logo as our Trademark. We had also gotten advice from
> > our legal counsel (SFLC) encouraging us to do so.
> 
> > I don't believe any changes would be required to our Trademark policy
> > to accomodate the change from "common law" to "registered" trademark,
> > we'd just have the benefit that we'd have an easier time protecting
> > it, if we ever found a need to do so.
> 
> > Here is the Debian Trademark Policy 2.0 [1] guidance on using logos:
> 
> > "Guidelines for Using Logos
> 
> > - Any scaling must retain the original proportions of the logo.
> > - Do not use the Debian logos as part of your company logo or product
> > logo or branding itself. They can be used as part of a page describing
> > your products or services.
> > - You need not ask us for permission to use logos on your own website
> > solely as a hyperlink to the Debian project website."
> 
> > Some may wonder if Registering our logo as a trademark is possible
> > with the logo under a fairly liberal Free Software license. The answer
> > is yes, as Copyrights are a different set of rights than Trademark.
> > Bear in mind or Logo is already one of our Trademarks, we just don't
> > have it registered.
> 
> > Another question that one might raise is, "What if the USPTO rejects
> > our logo as too simple, and not creative enough?" In answer, this is
> > not a criteria for acceptance. If the mark is distinctive, and unique,
> > and isn't already registered, it doesn't really matter how simple or
> > complex a design is. e.g. - Think of the "Nike Swoosh".
> 
> > I would like to work to address what I perceive to be a bug, and get
> > our logo official registered. I spoke to leader@ (Lucas) about this,
> > and he said that I should first start a dicussion on -project laying
> > out the pros and cons, with examples of what other similar projects
> > are doing.
> 
> > Pros:
> > -----
> > - Makes it easier, legally speaking, to protect our trademark, if it
> > ever came to it
> > - When companies are doing trademark searches for logos in the
> > trademark database, they would be discouraged from using our logo, as
> > it is would be in the database.
> > - If a company tries to register a logo trademark that is the same as
> > ours, the USPTO should not allow it, since it is in their database. (I
> > say should, as mistakes can happen)
> 
> > Cons:
> > -----
> > - Filing costs of ~$700
> > - Labor/work required to file (With assistance from SFLC, I am willing
> > to do much of the work required.)
> > - Required extra coordination with SPI
> > - If someone has already filed our logo as a trademark, we will be
> > forced into a situation where we need to deal with that. (I have
> > already done a preliminary search of the USPTO database, and found no
> > such occurrences, so feel this risk is minimal.)
> > - In order to maintain the status of a federally registered trademark,
> > the owner must file a statement of continued use and later, a renewal
> > application. (Again more work, which I am willing to do.)
> 
> > Other projects that have registered their logo:
> > -----------------------------------------------
> > - Apache - Many trademarks, including the feather
> > http://www.apache.org/foundation/marks/list/
> > - OpenOffice - Seagull logo
> > http://www.openoffice.org/marketing/art/galleries/logos/
> > - Gentoo Linux - G logo http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/name-logo.xml
> > - Fedora - Multiple logos http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Logo/UsageGuidelines
> > - Drupal CMS - Druplicon logo http://drupal.org/node/9068
> > http://drupal.com/trademark
> > - Gnome - Gnome Foot http://www.gnome.org/foundation/legal-and-trademarks/
> > - Mozilla - Multiple logos (Firefox, Thunderbird and Mozilla)
> > http://blog.mozilla.org/press/media-library/
> > - KDE - KDE and the K Desktop Environment logos
> > http://techbase.kde.org/Template:KDE_Trademark_Notice
> 
> > So far in my search of other large Free Software Projects that have a
> > singular graphical identify, pretty much all have a registered
> > graphical trademark, with the exception of the GNU project's "gnuhead"
> > logo. (However, FSF does still treat it as a trademark
> > http://www.gnu.org/graphics/agnuhead.html)
> 
> > What do people feel about proceeding with this registration?
> 
> > Thanks,
> > Brian
> 
> > [1] - http://www.debian.org/trademark
> -- 
> Yaroslav O. Halchenko, Ph.D.
> http://neuro.debian.net http://www.pymvpa.org http://www.fail2ban.org
> Senior Research Associate,     Psychological and Brain Sciences Dept.
> Dartmouth College, 419 Moore Hall, Hinman Box 6207, Hanover, NH 03755
> Phone: +1 (603) 646-9834                       Fax: +1 (603) 646-1419
> WWW:   http://www.linkedin.com/in/yarik        
> 
> 
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-- 
 .''`.  Paul Tagliamonte <paultag@debian.org>
: :'  : Proud Debian Developer
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