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Re: Red Hat Comments on License Agreement

Richard Koerber wrote on 08/28/2009 05:27 PM:
[Indemnification] Likewise,
if the only reason you are in the lawsuit is because you are using the
Fedora trademark, Red Hat has to pay the whole amount. That seems fair.

Just a question here: Does this part of the indemnification apply world-wide?
Not quite. The indemnification clause says we will indemnify for trademark infringement only in those countries where the trademark is registered. It is registered in Germany (all of the EU, so Austria too) and the United States, so we would indemnify in those countries. If you have a German web site it's unlikely that you would be sued in some other random country, although I can't say it would never happen.

To avoid the question, I'd rather not give a list of countries where FEDORA is registered. Since this is a public list, I'd rather not identify the countries where we don't yet have registrations, because it would make it much easier for someone to know where to go to file an application and try to steal the mark. If anyone has questions about a particular country, please contact me off-list.
This was a major concern for me, and it's good to know that a minor breach
would not violate the contract.

This is especially important for forums and comment areas, where visitors can
post freely. It would be a bad thing if a visitor's post would lead to the
termination of the contract. There should be a certain level of tolerance, for
example if someone posts "Fuhdora Project"...
I'm glad to hear I could clarify it. It shouldn't be a major concern and we try not to have unreasonable expectations. And I'm sure you'd let us know if they were unreasonable! ;-)
If I would start to write "Fedora®", but would not write a trademark symbol
for (let's say) "Intel", a visitor could conclude that Fedora is a registered
trademark, and Intel is not. I am afraid I could then be a target for a
trademark infringement claim from Intel. :) (Remember: German law applies.)
Do you know for a fact that this is true under German law? If you could point me to a reference that would be very helpful. I don't know, although I can ask German colleagues about it. The statement you use is one that a trademark owner and its licensees would use for their own protection (defensively), but it seems unusual to me that a company could make an offensive claim against you for inconsistent marking. If that's the case under German law though, we're happy to accommodate it.

For me it is crucial that I am still allowed to publish my intellectual
property about Fedora, even if, for example, I terminate the contract because
I shut down the site for financial reasons.
You would still own your own intellectual property, although your use of the Fedora trademarks would have to be fair use (or the equivalent concept locally).

Pam, your posting was the first one that really addressed my concerns, and I
am relieved that they can be resolved. Thanks again for your work, and for
joining the discussion.
I'm very glad I could answer your questions, and even more glad that my information addressed your concerns positively.


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