namespace protection compatible with the OSD?

Eric Jacobs eaj at
Thu Apr 19 18:40:30 UTC 2001

"Lawrence E. Rosen" <lrosen at>

> I was trying to point out that you CAN'T ALLOW someone to use your name 
> -- e.g., ALL uses, even friendly ones, are misuses -- because it is YOUR 
> trademark and not theirs.  If you allow a third party who creates a 
> derivative work to market that derivative work under your trademark, 
> without exercising control over the quality of his derivative works, you
> will lose your trademark.  It is okay for a third party to say his
> derivative work is "compatible with" Apache, or "equivalent in 
> functionality to" Apache, or "meets the specifications of" Apache, or 
> even that it is "better than" Apache, but it is NOT okay for him to 
> market his derivative work "as" Apache.  Apache should not allow anyone 
> else to adopt its trademark for their software!  (The word "should" in 
> that last sentence is as close as I'm going to come to giving 
> unsolicited legal advice to Apache.)

"OSI Certified" is a certification mark, a kind of trademark. Yet open
source software authors can claim their software to be "OSI Certified",
not just "equivalent to OSI Certified". This doesn't constitute
abandonment of the trademark -- does it?


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