Answers to questions raised about registering the Debian Logo as our trademark
I finally had a chance to discuss with our legal counsel, and have
some answers to the questions raised in the discussion.
The summary of the Q&A is (from list and some of my own):
1) Does registering logo require any changes to TM policy?
A: No changes required
2) What are the costs to register in the US and internationally using
the Madrid Protocol?
A: ~$275 for US only, ~$3347 for the probable international
registrations we'd want.
3) Should we register in the US only or register internationally?
A: Being as US registration is mandatory to extend internationally
start with the US, and then later Debian can make a decision on
4) What is the impact of registering in the US only?
A: We would still only have Common law protection in those countries
we don't register the logo. We'd gain no benefit in those
jurisdictions, but it wouldn't hurt us either. However, being that
getting a registration in the US is a prerequisite for applying for
international registration, this is largely an academic distinction.
5) Can overzealous law enforcement officers act against infringers
without our permission?
A: Not in the US. Outside the US requires further research.
6) Can we have logo protected under copyright law and trademark law,
and have differing licenses?
A: Yes, other Free Software projects do this.
7) Is the logo too simple to register?
8) How long would it take to register?
A: The process can take as long as 6 months.
Summary: Our counsel recommends that we move forward with a US-only
registration for now, and keep the option open to extend to a Madrid
Protocol registration once we complete the US registration. I concur
with this recommendation, and if there are no further questions or
objections, I plan to talk to leader@ about proceeding with this