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Re: Logo -- let's move on ... the legal loophole of "Fedora(TM)" for Red Hat



Call me a sucker, but I would like to take a shot at settling this
issue.  IANAL, but I am very well versed in these issues.

We Have:
    1. Red Hat handing over the trademark "Fedora" to the Fedora Foundation
    2. Red Hat keeping the Shadowman trademark
    3. Red Hat keeping all related rights to the Shadowman trademark

We Want:
    1. The Foundation to have full power over the name "Fedora" without
the threat of future legal issues
    2. The Foundation to have full power over the chosen logo (and any
potential mascot) without the threat of future legal issues

The Problems:
    1. The Shadowman trademark presents a figure wearing a Fedora hat
    2. The Fedora name is similar in meaning to Red Hat, and refers to
the type of hat worn by Shadowman

Why the Problems aren't Problems (and how):
    1. If Red Hat transfers ownership of "Fedora" to the Foundation, it
cannot later revoke that right, meaning that we never have to worry
about threats to the name.  Since the trademark is already established,
it will be difficult, if not impossible, to challenge successfully. 
This is true from the perspective of any organization, not just Red Hat.
    2. Any use of a hat in the logo would resemble the Shadowman logo,
to which the Foundation will get no special rights.  Due to the
relationship between the Foundation and Red Hat, it would be easy to
challenge any use of a hat.  This is why we cannot use a hat in the logo.
    3. From a legal standpoint, there is no relationship between the
word "Fedora" and hats.  "Fedora" is just a name, and a hat is just a
hat.  Holding the Fedora trademark grants the Foundation no special
right to the usage of hats in images.  Therefore, the name is irrelevant
with regards to allowing us to infringe upon the Shadowman trademark.
    4. As a reverse point of (3), Red Hat cannot claim that the "Fedora"
name has anything to do with the appearance of a hat in their Shadowman
logo.  They cannot say that the "Fedora" trademark infringes upon the
Shadowman trademark.

With the workings of the U.S. court system, the initial decisions
regarding what rights go where are likely to be upheld by courts in the
future.  It will be hard for Red Hat to come back many years down the
road and claim that something they allow now should not have been
permitted.  The reverse is also true.

It is unlikely that Red Hat saw this exact sequence of events coming. 
We can argue that Fedora should have been named something else in the
future.  It can easily be agreed that Fedora was probably not the best
choice of a name and that it does create some (minor) complications. 
However, the name is now established and any shortcomings can be
overcome.  It may seem silly that we cannot use a hat with a name like
Fedora, but it is the way things have fallen.  There is no need to
change any names or existing trademarks.  We simply need to choose a
logo that does not have a hat.  With the popularity of alternative
ideas, there is no reason to complain about this.

This thread is now gathering negative attention, so all who have the
best wishes at heart should discontinue this thread.  Try to take
everything that has been discussed to heart, and understand that
everything is working out just fine as it is, and there is no need to be
concerned about future problems.  Everything has been thoroughly thought
through, and all the little pieces are falling perfectly into place.

-- 
Patrick "The N-Man" Barnes
nman64 n-man com

www.n-man.com
-- 


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