Subject: RE: [DotGNU]proposal: DotGNU Trademark License
From: James Michael DuPont <>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 23:15:46 -0800 (PST)

--- "Lawrence E. Rosen" <> wrote:
> James Michael DuPont wrote:
> > Please excuse my ignorance, but what exactly do you mean by 
> > "bare trademark license"? Can you give me some hints on what 
> > to read up on?
> Just a few hints. I don't have time to give comprehensive legal
> answers
> about this topic now.

Thanks, I think you explained this fine.

> The problem for bare trademark licensing is the requirement that "the
> use by
> related companies inures to the benefit of the applicant." The
> trademark
> licensor must maintain control over the quality of the goods because
> it is
> HIS trademark that brands those goods. A licensor cannot do that by
> simply
> saying to a "related company" that "here is a license to my
> trademark." Will
> the licensee apply the licensor's trademark on garbage (or crappy
> software)?

That makes sense. 

> Or is the bare trademark license a form of admission by the
> licensor that the trademark doesn't matter much, and it doesn't serve
> a proper trademark purpose?

So, In short, you are saying that it is difficult to apply the idea of
copy left to trademarks, because by distributing the trademark to other
people, you are in effect watering it down.

I guess you would have to make a Franchise type system where you have a
level of quality that is required to use the trademarked goods.

It is also the question, how valid would such a servicemark/trademark
be if it was first pushed as free/open source software for everyone to
use and license, and after that was done, to turn around and try and
restrict it. 

It seems that if you let the cat out the bag, and try and make a
community effort out of a certain servicemark, then you will have a
hard time trying to sue someone who is still using it.

I can imagine on the other side of the coin, the trademark is also to
protect the consumers from bogus products as well! 

If people are playing games with trademarks, and dilluting them down,
then the consumer is not getting any benefit or protecting from it.

Thanks for you comments,

James Michael DuPont
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