Use of "open source"

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Thu Jan 4 06:34:26 UTC 2007

Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Matthew Flaschen (matthew.flaschen at
>> No, it's not in such a position.  As I've said before on this list,
>> "open source" is not trademarked.
> This is not entirely accurate.  There is no Federal _registration_ of such
> a mark with the US Patent and Trademark Office.  Whether the phrase
> "open source" would be enforceable under common law as a mark is
> debatable and would need to be litigated.

Yes, I really shouldn't mix those up.  Part of it is that the OSI site
says, "Unfortunately, the term "open source" itself is subject to
misuse, and because it's descriptive, it can't be protected as a
trademark (which would have been our first choice)."
( Still, I don't
think OSI is really prepared to litigate over the "open source" term

Matthew Flaschen

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