[CentOS] Re: Linux Trademarked? -- [OT] time to take this off-list (it's clearly just you and I) ...

Wed Aug 24 06:16:19 UTC 2005
Bryan J. Smith <b.j.smith at ieee.org>

On Wed, 2005-08-24 at 01:02 -0500, Mike McCarty wrote:
> Umm. Before the trademark, yes. Not after.

Then this entire thread has been a useless discussion.

I know the point you were trying to make on source code, but it's not an
option.  Someone _can_ run "strings" on your binaries and possibly see a
trademark.  In fact, that's how many people using GPL licensed code not
under the terms of the GPL get caught by their copyright holders.

If it's a publicly known name and distributed under the GPL, then it has
very different rules on what trademark protections are allowed compared
to something non-GPL.  I've tried to cover those, and I think this point
is very much moot given the fact that you _did_ use the trademark

> Company A used names for the software and hardware it developed for
> more than 20 years. By an oversight, it did not trademark those names.

There is a case of "prior art/use" if it had been for 20 years.

> They did have a some sort of agreement that Company A had some time
> to remove the use of Company B's trademark from all literature,
> source code, etc, and that Company B would not pursue Company A
> legally during the "grace period", in order that Company A could
> continue doing business w/o being stopped dead in its tracks.

Then there was some agreements in effect.

Company A should have sought other counsel, possibly litigation.

> (This is the "official" version. Many at Company A considered
> that Company B knew about Company A's products and names, and
> deliberately abused the oversight to "steal" the goodwill and
> reputation associated with those names by trademarking them.
> I'm giving everyone the benefit of the doubt in my recounting.
> Certainly, Company A was well-known, and its products had
> a fine reputation at the time.)

Again, blame your poor counsel.

Bryan J. Smith     b.j.smith at ieee.org     http://thebs413.blogspot.com
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