OSI enforcement? (Was Re: Microsoft use of the term "Open Source")

'Rick Moen' rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Jan 6 08:20:56 UTC 2008

Quoting Philippe Verdy (verdy_p at wanadoo.fr):

> Rick Moen [mailto:rick at linuxmafia.com] wrote:
> > Above, Philippe asserts that OSI could not be correctly asserted to own
> > an "open source" trademark (and no, capital letters are _not_ required)
> > without "registration", e.g., with USPTO.  Sorry, wrong.
> Possibly for the USA only, but such tolerance in US does not mean that the
> trademark gets any protection elsewhere. Other countries will REQUIRE this
> registration. Otherwise the US would constantly steal trademarks used and
> registered elsewhere.


The problem is, I doubt very much that _most_ of your main assertions
could possibly hold water in any jurisdiction on this globe -- if only
because of the effect of international treaties and the existence of
certain broad commonalities even in a (thankfully) diverse planet.  For
example, your notion that trademark conveys a categorical "ownership of
a phrase" is simply untrue as a basic consequence of the very definition
of trademark -- as is your notion that "prior art" is relevant in any

So, while I'd be delighted to hear what, say, Arnold has to say about
trademark in EU jurisdictions, I am obliged to classify all the rest of
your assertions on the subject as subject to grave doubt.  Others' views
may differ -- but, for me, that's about the size of it.

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