KDE Apps name trademarks

Paul Brown paul.brown at kde.org
Wed Jul 8 17:50:56 BST 2020


On miércoles, 8 de julio de 2020 18:12:49 (CEST) Jonathan Riddell wrote:
> Recently we've noticed some KDE apps ending up on the Microsoft Store
> uploaded by unknown third parties.  Maybe to up some credit score for their
> developer account.  Maybe to install bitcoin  miners.  We don't know the
> motivations.  Since it's all free software the licence allows it.
> 
> One option is to claim Trademark on all our app names.  This isn't hard, we
> just add the ™ onto the name anywhere we have it on our website starting
> with kde.org/applications. Some apps such as KOffice have done this in the
> past anyway.  This doesn't cost anything, only a registered trademark
> (which uses the ®. logo) costs money.  It might give us more ability to
> take down random people posting our software on app stores.  It might also
> make us look more corporate than we want to look and put off Linux distros
> from shipping our software.
> 
> Should we add ™ next to the app names?

I agree this is a tremendous concern and should be treated accordingly. It not 
only damages the reputation of the projects and deprives the creators from a 
potential source of income that could help maintain the project, but also puts 
would-be users in danger, which is unacceptable. Thanks for bringing this up, 
Jon.

I don't think putting TM next to the name is enough, though. IANAL, so take 
the following with a grain of salt: in my experience (I had to register 
several names of magazines back in the day) you always have to go through some 
registry office or another to confer any validity to you brand name. It is not 
hard and it is not expensive, but it is a bit of a hassle.

Furthermore, unfortunately these registry offices only protect in the 
jurisdictions where they operate, so you can have an EU-wide protection, but 
it won't cover you if someone abuses your mark in the US. To protect against 
that you would need to register with the corresponding authority in the US 
also.

But, maybe, to get illegitimate content removed from app stores, it may be 
enough to wave your local trademark documentation under the noses of the 
administrators, regardless of the jurisdiction the offending material was 
uploaded in.

Again, not a lawyer, maybe someone with more knowledge can give us more 
insight.

Either way, yes, this problem should be addressed early before it comes round 
and bites us bad.

Cheers

Paul
-- 
Promotion & Communication

www: http://kde.org
Mastodon: https://mastodon.technology/@kde
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kde/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kdecommunity
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/kde




More information about the kde-community mailing list