Subject: Re: GPL and trademarks and brandnames...
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 6 Nov 1998 15:26:02 -0000

William C. Cheng writes:
 > Hi,
 > If my company distributes a software package named FOO under GPL, and
 > if the name FOO is a (software) trademark of my company, is there a
 > problem?  Do we have to use a different license (such as MPL or a
 > modified NPL)?
 > What we would like to do is to put the source code under GPL so that
 > everyone can use it, modify it and distribute it.  But we want to reserve
 > the right to stop anyone from selling it under the same name (so others
 > cannot take advantage of the time and money we spend establishing a
 > brandname).  But anybody is allowed to sell it under a different name.

My understanding of trademark law is that you need do nothing.  You
should warn users that FOO is a trademark of your company, and that
the GPL does not give them permission to use it.

-russ nelson <>
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