KDE Apps name trademarks

Philippe Cloutier chealer at gmail.com
Sun Jul 12 16:41:28 BST 2020

Hi Jonathan,

Le 2020-07-08 à 12:12, Jonathan Riddell a écrit :
> 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 
> <http://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?

As others have pointed out, depending on what precisely you are trying 
to prevent, there may be other avenues than trademarking.

That being said, to answer your actual question, I would treat this in 
several elements:

 1. Do we want to trademark the names of more KDE products (I say "more"
    since "KDE" is already trademarked, so arguably at least one product
    is already trademarked). I personally have no strong opinion, but I
    agree that trademarking can discourage modification. There are ways
    to mitigate that, including publishing a trademark policy, offering
    a contact point to ask about the acceptability of changes, and
    facilitating renaming, for example by adding a compilation option to
    set a different name. I would also suggest committing to publish a
    list of all trademark enforcement actions done, so those who
    consider modifying can get an idea of what will actually be accepted
    or not.
 2. If we do agree to trademark more names, which names? We tend to have
    lots of names for lots of projects, many of which I suppose may take
    a while to be sufficiently important to justify trademarking. I
    propose a wiki page as a way to list candidates and poll developers
    about each.
 3. For those names we do trademark, how much should the ™ symbol be
    used? I would not like seeing it everywhere, but I do not mind
    seeing it in the About screen, for instance.
 4. Who would own those trademarks?

> Jonathan
Philippe Cloutier

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