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Re: Registering the Debian Logo as our trademark?

Hi Brian,

On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 04:04:34PM -0400, Brian Gupta wrote:
> 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.

Thanks for tackling this perpetually murky issue.  I agree that we should
pursue getting a registered trademark for the Debian logo, putting to bed
once for all the questions around its use.  A one-time $700 cost seems
reasonable to me; our logo is nearly as important to our brand as our name

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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