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NetBSD Trademark Application Completed 177

Posted by Hemos
from the locking-up-the-name dept.
Daniel de Kok writes "The NetBSD Foundation is proud to announce that it has registered the ``NetBSD®'' trademark. The foundation would like to thank Jay Michaelson (Wasabi Systems) for filing the application and providing answers to the US Patent Office, and Carl Oppedahl (Oppedahl & Larson) for giving advice and keeping the Foundation informed about the process. An official policy on the use of the NetBSD® trademark is currently being drafted and will be made public soon."
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NetBSD Trademark Application Completed

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  • Re:trivial? (Score:5, Informative)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscoward.yahoo@com> on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:45PM (#8974217) Journal
    Actually the cost of a trademark registration is quite reasonable. You can do the discovery and filing for around $1000, possibly less if you do some of the paperwork yourself.

    IANAL but I have a few trademarks.

    Patents... OTOH cost 10x more to start with, and considerably more after that if you try to defend them.

    So a registered trademark is a good investment for a small company that fears competition.

    I don't see the immediate benefit to NetBSD, however.
  • Re:trivial? (Score:2, Informative)

    by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:52PM (#8974286) Journal
    Perhaps because both are issued, in the US, by the Patent and Trademark office? :->
  • Re:Final Straw? (Score:5, Informative)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:52PM (#8974294) Homepage Journal
    Linux is also trademarked [linuxmark.org]

    (excerpt from that site)
    Examples of Use Requiring A License.
    On the other hand, if you plan to market a product or offer a service to the public using a mark that identifies the LINUX based product under a name that you consider your product name, like "Super Dooper Linux" or "Real Time Linux Consultants" you are required to apply for and obtain the low cost one time royalty license described elsewhere on this web site. This is true whether you actually apply for a trademark for your product or service name, because you are using the mark in a trademark sense, and it is important that the public know that LINUX is the base mark owned by Linus, and that the derivative mark you have adopted is your particular version of Linux.

    Beside our need to protect the Linux mark for all of us in the industry, this process allows us to prevent improper uses of the mark that might eventually result in someone obtaining a trademark with the word Linux in it that suggests that they are the sole source of Linux or the sole authority to certify some aspects of use or training concerning Linux. For this reason we have refused to license marks like "Linux University" or "The Linux Certification Board."
    (end-excerpt)

    It's pretty reasonable for NetBSD to want the same protection from dillution for it's valuable brandname. And it's hardly the first open source OS to get it's name trademarked.
  • Re:trivial? (Score:3, Informative)

    by RazzleFrog (537054) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:53PM (#8974308)
    Copyrights are issued by the Library of Congress no the USPTO. I suppose it would be the USPTCO if they did.
  • It is trivial! (Score:5, Informative)

    by eman1961 (642519) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:55PM (#8974335)
    I have filed my own paperwork on a couple of trademarks, and the total cost is less than $500. If I remember correctly, the cost of the final filing is about $350, which goes to pay an attorney employed at the patent and trademark office. If you are careful, and understand what can be trademarked, and what cannot, it is really rather easy.

    Acquiring such a trademark means that it is somewhat easier to enforce that others do not use the trademark in their own product names.

  • by RazzleFrog (537054) on Monday April 26, 2004 @01:57PM (#8974353)
    It protects them from somebody going out and writing an entirely new Operating System and selling it under the name NetBSD.
  • by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:01PM (#8974401) Homepage
    Cool--bands can get authorship credits simply by doing covers now!

    Ever heard the song "Blue Suede Shoes" by American AC in Paris?

  • by xoran99 (745620) on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:09PM (#8974492)
    Isn't that song a cover of something from the fifties? J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. It was their only hit.
  • by sir_cello (634395) on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:16PM (#8974564)
    > It protects them from somebody going out and writing an entirely new Operating System and selling it under the name NetBSD.

    There are a number of benefits to registration: the team could prevent the use of NetBSD on _any_ distributions unless they authorise (e.g. such as a "NetBSD+custom distribution" would not be able to use the NetBSD mark).

    It could be used with customs to prevent import of counterfeit "official" CD's, or even the use of NetBSD on unofficial release CD's.

    For example, when a NetBSD release is generated, currently nothing stops anyone from building and releasing their own NetBSD distribution CD from the CVS tag. Now, the owners of the mark will be able to prevent this if they choose to.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:29PM (#8974712)
    See http://lists.debian.org/debian-bsd/2003/debian-bsd -200312/msg00098.html and the following discussion...
  • by saddino (183491) on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:46PM (#8974886)
    1) Typical cost is $350 from the USPTO if you apply for it yourself (it's really not that hard: copyright and trademark protection is straightforward, unlike the patent process), and extra if you go through an attorney. Note: you need to use the trademark to protect it (i.e. you can just apply for a trademark to "hold on to it"). In most cases that's a given, since you're applying for the trademark to protect a good or service you're selling.

    2) Trademarks in the US protect your rights in the US only. There is no "do it all in one place" route either. IANAL, but my wife is. Some of her clients apply for trademark protection in every country they do business in (60+ registrations). If you're interested in international protection, then you basically have to use a lawyer.
  • by zogger (617870) on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:48PM (#8974896) Homepage Journal
    ...perhaps a big risk from other quarters with deep pockets who might think it cute to do so, and might do it through a daisy chian of proxies first to obfuscate who's behind it. Perhaps, pure speculation of course. I can think of a few places to whom 500 clams doesn't even qualify as pocket lint,but the idea of monkey wrenching in advance any ever potential future competitor might seem like making "good business sense", so maybe NetBSD being proactive before the fact of needing a trademark is a good thing and good idea.
  • Re:It is trivial! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @03:05PM (#8975068)
    Then, there's the risk-factor. What, really, is the risk of a competing *BSD distribution taking the name of "NetBSD"?

    Someone tried to steal the term "Linux" in 1994 or so, long before anyone heard of it or cared. You can bet it cost Torvolds a lot more money in lawyer fees to trademark a contested term than if he had registered first.

    There's a lot of really important reasons to own a trademark. Without one, forgetting to renew a domain name could be a disaster. There's also hostile code forks, etc etc etc.

    Look at FreeBSD -- it's trademarked, but the trademark is owned by a hostile company and not by FreeBSD. In theory, they could be required to change their name! The reputation cost would be a lot more than a thousand bucks.

    Maybe you are a poor student and $1000 sound like a lot of money, but frankly if any of the NetBSD people have a real job, this isn't financially prohibitive.
  • Re:wait (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lord Kano (13027) on Monday April 26, 2004 @04:09PM (#8975773) Homepage Journal
    Its realy very easy, all it takes is a desire to hate somthing. Just like the Linux & Mac haters that have never used the platforms or the

    I am what most people would call a Mac hater, and I have extensive experience with the platform.

    I was a Mac user for 10 years. I know the platform inside and out. I just have become disenchanted.

    My dislike comes from not a position of ignorance, but one of knowledge based dislike.

    LK
  • Re:trivial? (Score:2, Informative)

    by bccomm (709680) <mano155NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday April 26, 2004 @08:01PM (#8978269) Journal
    Is NetBSD a registered non- or not-for- profit organization?

    Only recently was it announced, but, yes, it is 501(c)(3)-compliant.

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