Use of "open source" in website name

Cinly Ooi cinly.ooi at
Fri Jun 13 12:49:49 UTC 2008

My reply here is definitely off-topic and I believe in keeping this mailing
list on topic so while I will read what other has to say about my comments
below, I will not post reply to any of the comments to the mailing list.

I think the US way of protecting "appellation of origin" is more sensible,
i.e., you cannot create new one that infringe on it, but it tolerate old
ones, especially those that which bleeds into the common vocabulary and has
lose its original meaning. May be since I am from South East Asia and that
influence me in the sense that I myself would not normally assume Feta is
from Greece, Champagne is from French region of Champagne. I would have to
find the words "Made in Greece" or "from the champagne region of France"
before my sense of "appellation of origin" kicks in. To me, "Parmesan
'style' cheese" on labels are simply there to waste ink. If one wants to be
so particular then all our "Singapore Fried Noodles" or "Peking Duck" in
Chinese Restaurant over in UK must be changed to "Singapore style noodles"
and "Peking style duck" since we are 99% certain that nothing in the dish
came from Singapore or Beijing, and that includes the chef.

However, I acknowledge that different cultures may have different ways of
interpreting the word Champagne or Feta. What I do not think is that local
culsture should not be exported throughout the world using WIPO or other
organization. My rule of thumb for "trade marks"/"appellation of origin" and
other non-time limited Intellectual Property is as long as there is no
confusion in the target population, there is no problem.

Best Regards,

2008/6/13 Philippe Verdy <verdy_p at>:

>  "Champagne" is protected: it is invalid as a protected trademark because
> it is a region name; it could only be used as a generic term related to the
> geographic origin; however, you won't be able to create a perfume named
> "Champagne" or smelling like Champagne because the protection of the bubble
> wine still covers all its aspects: not just its taste or aspect or color or
> use as a drink variety, but also its derived uses. There are effectively
> derived products using true Champagne wines in their composition.
> The same could be said about Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Camembert and many other
> "origin appellations" used in France, but also other appellations used in
> all regions of Europe (the Italian "Chianti", the Swiss "Gruyère", the Greek
> "Feta", the English "Sheddar", the Scottish "Whiskey"...)
> Note: "origin appellations" are now recognized officially in Europe, and
> there was also an international agreement limiting the right to reuse these
> appelations in other products or labels. This protection takes the form of a
> registered definition of the designation name, and it works exactly like a
> trademark. Most of them are effectively protected by a trademark registered
> by some professional unions (that have a official legal identity) that have
> defined quality labels with strict requirements recognized and protected by
> law: they don't want any use of the protected designation in other more or
> less related products because it would fade out this designation, and
> there's apparently no limit if some other use is left permitted.
> Open sourced products should really avoid all reuse of protected
> designations in their own name, otherwise it will severely limit the
> reusability of the product (which could even become illegal in some
> countries and could expose its authors or users to payment of damages).
> If you're not convinced, just look why some PC maker is building notebooks
> named "Ferrari": they are certainly not automotive products (except the
> vague association with speed, which is not a speed on road but processing
> "speed" that is not related to any movement or consumption of gasoline by
> its "engine"!), but they still feature the red color and name under licence
> from the car maker. And you'll pay the price for it on your PC! This is
> certainly not an open sourced PC...
> There's now a very large commerce about the use of trademarks in unrelated
> products. This is called "co-branding" and it's full of legal protections.
>  ------------------------------
> *De :* Cinly Ooi [mailto:cinly.ooi at]
> *Envoyé :* jeudi 12 juin 2008 19:11
> *À :* John Cowan
> *Cc :* Beth; license-discuss at
> *Objet :* Re: Use of "open source" in website name
> my $0.02:
> Combining the word "Open" + "Source" does not necessary have to mean
> software.  I am sure most people does not have problem with "Open Source
> Cola". It's around for many years.
> I personally do not see anything wrong with calling a perfume "Champagne"
> since there is no confusion with the bubbly variety. But I live in Europe
> and it is the law here.
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Best Regards,
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