Common Trademark Issues


  • Richard Fontana
  • Bradley M. Kuhn
  • Eben Moglen
  • Matthew Norwood
  • Daniel B. Ravicher
  • Karen Sandler
  • James Vasile
  • Aaron Williamson


A Legal Issues Primer for Open Source and Free Software Projects - Chapter 5


[A Legal Issues Primer for Open Source and Free Software Projects](" target="_blank)


June 4, 2008

The Gist

This contains a general overview of Trademarks. You shouldn't try to trademark a generic name such as "music player". Unlike with patents, you should search Trademarks, including things that are unregistered. Registering yours give you stronger protection that not.

The Good

  1. They're very clear you should seek profession advice if needed.
  2. Extremely thourough amounts of information, such as pricing.
  3. Unlike in the Patents, they gave a clear example when talking about giving permission for outside people to use a trademark.

The Bad

  1. There's no examples for what might count as a specimen outside of what the USPTO requires.
  2. This chapter didn't speak at all to laws outside of the US and how that might affect software projects.
  3. It ends.

The Questions

  1. Who gets to decide that genericide has happened.
  2. Do you have to pay more money to update your mark?
  3. What defines a thorough search?


This chapter gave a very good overview of Trademarks and some good examples of how to use one or to deal with other people using them. It reiterates
5 Red Roses

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