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Re: Answers to questions raised about registering the Debian Logo as our trademark

MJ Ray dijo [Wed, Jun 12, 2013 at 11:49:09AM +0100]:
> > I finally had a chance to discuss with our legal counsel, and have
> > some answers to the questions raised in the discussion.
> Thanks for this.  It covers all I remember.  One small question:
> > 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
> > international registration.
> What's the source on that?  I thought I'd seen trademarks start in
> other places and then extend internationally.

>From an online intellectual property course I took with WIPO
(translated from Spanish by me, so probably plagued by errors):

    How is a trademark registered?

    First of all, a registration request must be presented at the
    corresponding national or regional trademark office. The request
    must be filed together with a clear reproduction of the symbol(s)
    to be registered, indicating colors, shapes or 3D
    characteristics. The request must state also the list of products
    or services that the symbol is intended to be applied to
    What reach does the trademark protection have?

    Practically all countries in the world register and protect
    trademarks. National and regional offices maintain a Trademark
    Registry where all the registration request's data are held,
    facilitating the examination, search and eventual opposition
    processes. Now, the effects for this registration are limited to
    the country (or in the case of the regional registration,
    countries) it deals with.

    In order to avoid the need of registering on each national or
    regional office, WIPO administers an international trademark
    registration system. This system is based on two treaties, the
    Madrid arrangement relative to the International Trademark
    Registration, and the Madrid Protocol. People with relation (due
    to nationality, residence or establishment) with a member State in
    one or both of those instruments can, on thebase of a request on
    this country's trademark office, obtain an international
    registration effective in all or some of the Madrid Union

The key is in the last lines: The procedure to obtain an international
registration requires to reference the request for a national
registration as a first step.

I could not find it on my notes, but I am almost sure we were
mentioned a minimum time for a trademark to exist nationally before it
could be granted internationally.

> I still feel that this seems like a waste of project money (are many
> infringers in the US anyway?) and potentially a blank cheque ($3347
> plus maintenance and costs of enforcement necessary to prevent it
> becoming generic), but I'd prefer those who are based and trading
> significantly with the debian logo in the US to make the decision.

There is the precedent of the Linux trademark, which was obtained in
1997. For further details, please check:


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