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Re: trademark protectin (was Re: Logo War: Red Hat Takes On DataPortability)

2008/2/22 Karsten 'quaid' Wade <kwade redhat com>:
> <disclaimer type="usual">
>  This is reply is entirely from me as an individual; my views are my own
>  and do not represent Red Hat, Inc., the Fedora Project Board, or your
>  mother.
>  <sigh/>
>  </disclaimer>
>  On Fri, 2008-02-22 at 07:57 -0500, Duvelle Jones wrote:
>  > I will be quite honest here. From what I can tell I think that it is a
>  > little disappoint that Red Hat had to go an flex their lawyer might
>  > against DataPortability in what can be considered here as a coincidence.
>  We all agree that most of us are not lawyers, esp. not myself.  So, I
>  know that I am wholly unqualified to comment on ways and means of
>  protecting marks.  That is what the lawyers who work for Red Hat are
>  good at doing.  Without proof or evidence that they have actually acted
>  poorly or made a mistake, we have to presume they are doing the right
>  thing in the right way.

I also am not a lawyer, but I have respect for their profession,
especially in the unfortunately litigious environment of the United

>  Many of us are familiar with the idea that trademarks must be defended
>  so as to not be diluted or lost to the public domain.  Perhaps there is
>  a clear definition of "defend", possibly based on legal precedence?
>  Maybe it's not possible or sensible to send a "nice letter"?
>  Again, since we are not the lawyers, we have to assume the experts are
>  doing the right thing.  They give us the same respect when it comes to
>  how we build the distro and run the project.


>  I can guess that DataPortability did not intend to infringe on the
>  Fedora mark, although one can't be sure about what their designer was
>  influenced by.  But seeing as how DataPortability is operating in a
>  similar niche as Fedora (software, open access, freedom), there is a
>  real risk of the similar marks confusing people.

Also in agreement.

>  In f-ambassadors-list, fusion94 wrote:
>  > I'm surprised at this as the fedora logo is a color schemed version of
>  > the infinity symbol. Which I believe cannot be trademarked as the
>  > infinity symbol would definately fall under prior art.
>  Not only am I not a lawyer, I am not a trained designer or a PhD in
>  physics.  But I will say that in my experience, I have never seen the
>  infinity symbol canted upward at a 45' angle.  It is usually shown with
>  a horizontal orientation.
>  http://images.google.com/images?q=infinity+symbol
>  In addition, the Fedora symbol is not simply a "color schemed ...
>  infinity symbol".  The integration of the project name as a letter in
>  the symbol is quite evident in both the Fedora and DataPortability
>  logos.  The implication in the logos is clear (associating the project
>  name with inifinity-as-in-forever.)
>  http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Logo#Where_does_this_design_come_from?

Good points on integrated letters and implication of the infinity symbol.

>  When you put the Fedora and DataPortability logos side-by-side the
>  differences are more apparent.  But honestly, when I first saw the
>  DataPortability website, I thought, "Wow, looks like the Fedora logo."
>  > On Fri, 2008-02-22 at 10:45 +0300, John Babich wrote:
>  >  I understand that Red Hat must protect its logos and
>  > > trademarks from infringement. All major companies must do the same
>  > > thing.
>  There are two things that make Fedora what it is, in order of
>  importance:
>  1. The people who contribute to making the distribution and overall
>  project successful
>  2. The name 'Fedora' that represents those people and their hard work
>  So, Red Hat is working *for* us in defending the mark.  Dilution of that
>  mark means dilution of our work.  It's directly related to why we are so
>  careful about keeping non-free and encumbered software out of the
>  distro, as well as the many other actions that make Fedora what it is.

Red Hat's concern for keeping Fedora free of legal encumbrances and
entanglements is one of the main reasons that I volunteer for the
Fedora Project rather than for another.

I hope that the situation can be resolved amicably.

Best Regards,

John Babich
Volunteer, Fedora Project

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