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

On Tue, 2005-08-23 at 23:02 -0500, Patrick Barnes wrote:
> We Want:
>     1. The Foundation to have full power over the name "Fedora" 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

Okay, so you know where I'm coming from.  That's good, thanx for being
the _first_person_ to actually respond to my concerns.

> 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.

But what if another entity uses a name of a hat?

> 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. 

I know, otherwise they might have considered not using the same name
from the University of Hawaii project.  ;->

> 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. 

Okay, so you're seeing my points.

> 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.

If Red Hat(R) legal feels secure in its giving up control of the "Fedora
(TM)" trademark, but not worrying about another entity using a similar
hat name, illustration, etc... and using the "Fedora(TM)" as an
argument, I guess that's their viewpoint.

I just guess I feared otherwise.  Not demonizing Red Hat at all, they'd
have to defend their trademark, and that might leave the Fedora
Foundation in a bad fix -- or, worse yet, seeing Red Hat not being able
to make its much needed argument to prevent someone from trashing their
name with something related to hats.

> 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.

Thank you for being the first person who addressed this by finally
acknowledging what I was getting at.  That's all I wanted.  I will not
bring it up again.

And that includes not considering any hat for the Fedora mascot.

Bryan J. Smith     b j smith ieee org     http://thebs413.blogspot.com
The best things in life are NOT free - which is why life is easiest if
you save all the bills until you can share them with the perfect woman

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