Re: GNOME trademark authorization

Hi Daniel,

On 05/16/2016 09:41 AM, Daniel Espinosa wrote:
How to avoid any organization or individual, could use GNOME trademark
to promote against GNOME?

You cannot use trademark to stop someone from calling a thing by its
trademarked name.

For example, Mars cannot stop me from calling a Snickers a Snickers.
They can stop me calling a different peanut, nougat, caramel and
chocolate bar a Snickers.

Is the case of World of GNOME (WOGUE on G+). It recently has pushed
blaming, unsupported complaints (no data about his source is based on
real data from projects maintainers).

Is the Wogue account talking about GNOME when they call it GNOME? If so,
there is nothing you can do using trademark.

In terms of things which are not GNOME, you can use the GNOME trademark
if your usage is consistent with the GNOME trademark guidelines. (say,
calling a website might be a trademark infringement,
since the gnome-sucks website is not GNOME, or consistent with the GNOME
trademark guidelines).

There are other forms of legal recourse, but I do not think it is
appropriate to use them to stop people saying negative things about you,
unless those things are:

1. Clearly and provably factually inaccurate
2. Actively harming the reputation and good standing of the project
(say, if they are getting a lot of exposure)
3. Clearly not satire, humour, parody.

In this case, you could try a defamation/libel case, but to what end?

While I'm not against he can publish his complaints on GNOME, I think he
can't use GNOME trademark to push negative, or few news to try to
support its negative ideas about GNOME.

Sure, feedback is good, but while he is not part of GNOME Foundation, I
think, may he is unable to use GNOME trademark to blame and no positive
actions to help.

I think this is a misunderstanding of trademark rules. And regardless of
whether you *could* do this, I do not think that you *should*.


Dave Neary - Boston, MA
@nearyd /
Ph: +1-978-486-0168 / Cell: +1-978-799-3338

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