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

Tony Guntharp fusion94 at
Fri Feb 22 19:39:45 UTC 2008

Well put...and I do understand the need for Red Hat, Inc. to protect
it's trademark. I guess the issue I have with it all were the methods

The DP group (of which I am a member) is an loosely formed community
with a purpose very similiar in vein to Open Source/Free Software. The
key thing to note is that this isn't a commercial entity.  You can
read more about the goals and objectives here:

A C&D letter should have been sent out as a last resort instead of
being the first salvo. By this being the first shot across the bow it
only allows for escalation to the court system. If the DP group had
been approached sooner by someone from within Red Hat then I think the
issue would have still been resolved in the same manner w/o Red Hat
looking like the bad guy.



2008/2/22 Karsten 'quaid' Wade <kwade at>:
> <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.
>  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.
>  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.
>  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.)
>  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.
>  - Karsten
>  --
>  Karsten Wade, Developer Community Mgr.
>  Dev Fu :
>  Fedora :
>  gpg key : AD0E0C41
> --
>  Fedora-marketing-list mailing list
>  Fedora-marketing-list at

Tony Guntharp
fusion94 at

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