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Re: Reminder: Do not use trademarks in Summary or Description

Subject: Re: Reminder: Do not use trademarks in Summary or Description
From: "Tom \"spot\" Callaway"
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 10:35:21 -0500
On 2009-01-30 at 9:09:51 -0500, Ralf Corsepius <rc040203@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
>> Please, if you're a packager, take a moment and go read this:
>>
>> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:Guidelines#Trademarks_in_Summary_or_Description
>>
>>
>> After talking with Red Hat Legal about how we should be handling
>> trademarks in package summaries and descriptions, we came to the
>> conclusion that it would be far easier (and less risky for Red Hat) if
>> we did not use "(TM)" or "(R)" notations at all. This does not mean that
>> you can use trademarks freely, you still need to be careful in how you
>> use them. When in doubt, try not to use it. If you have questions, you
>> can either email me or fedora-legal@xxxxxxxxxxx
> 
> IMO, your advice collides with "fair use" of trademarks, in particular
> when commonly used names actually refer to trademarked items or when
> package even contain something trademarked.
> 
> Cf. e.g.
> http://www.sgi.com/products/software/opengl/license.html
> http://www.sgi.com/products/software/opengl/trademarks.html

Not really. Please keep in mind that SGI's interpretation of fair use is
sketchy at best. In the US, only the owner of a trademark is permitted
to use the (R) symbol, and SGI describes it as fair use for anyone to
use it.

IMHO, SGI should stop writing licenses, all of the ones they've ever
written in house have been awful.

Certainly, it is permissable to use trademarks in according with the US
Lanham Act, in keeping with fair use, but also keep in mind that fair
use for trademarks is much much more complicated than fair use for
copyrights.

The general rule (as a result of US Supreme Court decisions) is that no
more of the trademark should be used than necessary for the legitimate
purpose, and that confusion should be avoided whenever possible.

~spot

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