[CentOS-devel] Re: Using CentOS trademarks/artwork etc.

John Summerfield debian at herakles.homelinux.org
Wed Aug 22 08:28:30 UTC 2007

Axel Thimm wrote:

>> What are the CentOS trademark guidelines? Currently there do not seem
>> to be any listed on the website. There do not seem to be any in the
>> included product, and there does not seem to be a registered
>> trademark. I know this gets into the murky area of law, ip etc.. but
>> it does come up and people's assumptions that they can use it for
>> anything they want because it is not OBVIOUSLY registered, protected,
>> or guidelined..
> I think CentOS should register the trademark in the countries this is
> most important (US + EU?) and offer a review dependent usage: If a
> derived product/project like mythcentos or maybe centosfirewall,

I would be very surprised if registering CentOS as a tm had any 
implications for the words "mythcentos" or "centosfirewall,"

If it did, then the same argument would have Dell's use of "Dell" as a 
trademark would prevent the Dellico families ( 
http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts/Fact.aspx?fid=7&yr=1920&ln=Dellico ) 
from using operating a business, "Dellico Computer Systems," and that is 

As would be Red Hat's suing the Red Hat Society (my sister is a member), 
a social club whose distinguishing feature is their wearing a red hat.

The use of a trademark is to prevent the use of a term (CentOS) by 
someone else to represent that they create or distribute (etc) a product 
that is _not_ CentOS.

Presumably Dell's not entirely happy about this:
but there have been many accounts of failed legal action by Big 
Corporates to have such domain names taken down or handed over. About 
all the actions achieve is fame for the offender.



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