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

Thu Aug 23 13:34:32 UTC 2007
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

John Summerfield wrote:
> 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
> ridiculous.

It is not at ALL the same thing...

mythcentos would be a MythTV implementation using the CentOS operating
system.  It is EXACTLY what trademark law is designed to address.  The
owner of the CentOS trademark (as it relates to Operating systems) would
have every right to require licensing for this.

In your example, that is not the case.  The Dellico family can have a
computer business, not using dell parts or related to dell and name it
Dellico.  The can not, however create a DellEnterprise servers line ..
they could create a DellicoEnterprise servers line.  Surely you see the

> 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.

Not at all the same thing ... PLEASE :D

> 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.

But that particular product does Contain CentOS (the firewall or the
MythTV solution).  You absolutely can not do that without permission.
How could anyone think that you could????

> Presumably Dell's not entirely happy about this:
> http://www.ihatedell.net/
> 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.

ihatedell is not trying to market a computer product using the Dell
name, it is an opinion about the Dell company ... and it is not a
trademark issue at all.

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