When did Linus Torvalds first own a trademark on the word "Linux?" -Guy Macon
- From: Guy Macon <http://www.guymacon.com/>
- Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 11:11:17 +0000
Ralf Callenberg wrote:
The point is, you called yourself as a first class expert in trademark
issues. Telling Pascal you had forgotten more about this topic, than he
ever would learn about it. A quite bold statement. Well, and than you
missed such a basic fact about trademarks.
The claim that I missed a basic fact about trademarks has yet to
be established. I presented what I believe to be a valid argument
that it is Kenneth Sloan who is wrong when he claims "trademarks
have to be claimed" and "Nothing is trademarked unless you explicitly
say that it is." He chose to reply with a personal attack rather
than respond to the content of my argument.
Since you appear to agree with Mr. Sloan, perhaps you can comment
on the following argument. I am competely open to the possibility
that I may be wrong, but I am unlikely to be convinced by insults.
WHEN DID LINUS TORVALDS FIRST OWN A TRADEMARK ON THE WORD "LINUX?"
Kenneth Sloan claims that "Trademarks have to be claimed" and
that "Nothing is trademarked unless you explicitly say that
it is." It is my understanding that one can own a trademark
before even knowing what a trademark is, because trademarks are
established by use in commerce, not by making claims.
does not mention anything about explicitly saying that
it is a trademark or making any particular claim. It
"the mark must appear on the goods, the container for the
goods, or displays associated with the goods, and the
goods must be sold or transported in commerce."
It is my contention that, if Kenneth Sloan is right, then
Linus Torvalds does not own a trademark on the word "Linux."
It is also my contention that Kenneth Sloan *is* wrong and that
Linus Torvalds *does* own a trademark on the word "Linux."
It all hinges on how and when Linus Torvalds gained ownership;
when he claimed that it was a trademark or when he first used
the word "Linux" in commerce?
You may wish to refer to [ http://lwn.net/Articles/148228/
and [ http://lwn.net/Articles/147941/ ] as you examine my
Consider the following timeline:
Linus Torvalds created Linux in 1991. At that time and for
years afterward he made no trademark claims.
In 1994 one William R. Della Croce Jr. of Boston made what appears
to be the first claim that "Linux" is a trademark, and in 1996
started demanding 10 percent royalties on sales from Linux vendors.
In the resulting lawsuit, R. Della Croce's claim was nullified
and the Linux trademark was legally assigned to Linus Torvalds.
See [ http://www.linuxmark.org/ ] ("This is the official website
of the Linux Mark Institute, exclusive licensor of the Linux
trademark on behalf of its owner, Linus Torvalds.")
Especially instructive is the Petition to Cancel filed by
Linus Torvalds and others: [ http://lwn.net/Articles/148228/ ].
Nowhere in that document is there any claim that anyone other
than Croce was the first to claim the trademark, only that it
was in use in commerce long before he did so.
It is my belief that "Linux" became a trademark when the first
copy was sold -- even though nobody at the time explicitly
claimed that it was a trademark.
I am open to being shown that I am wrong, but doing so requires
something a bit more convincing than shouting "you are stupid!"
The Linux Trademark - Tempest in a Teapot
Jon "maddog" Hall on Linux Trademarks
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