[GRASS5] [jberry@innovativegis.com: MapCalc trade name]

B. Byars Bruce_Byars at baylor.edu
Mon Oct 30 12:49:24 EST 2000

I would agree with Rich here.  Since r.mapcalc is a component
of GRASS I don't think it's a problem.

I've forwarded this to the legal group here to get their opinions
as well.  Although I don't think they will see any conflict either.

I'll immediately post the response I get from them.


Rich Shepard wrote:

> On Sat, 28 Oct 2000, Markus Neteler wrote:
> > some severe problem is attached.
> > What's your opinion?
> Markus and group:
>   I know of Joe Berry and we've exchanged cummunications in the past; I read
> his columns in the GIS mags and I have his books. So, I have tremendous
> respect for him, Dana, and their products.
>   I'm not a trademark attorney, and I know that we all want to avoid an
> expensive and unnecessary legal battle. I have two thoughts to offer:
>   1)  I believe there is a difference between a product named "MapCalc"
> (however it is capitalized) and the GRASS module "r.mapcalc" that is a
> compnonet of a product. If the argument is presented that someone could be
> confused between the two, that confused person is demonstrably too stupid to
> be using GIS software, regardless of name. This is, in my opinion, analagous
> to someone trademarking a software product named "Save" and wanting every
> other software product that uses that word in a menu to change.
>   Reminds me of the Lotus look-and-feel suit against Borland for QuattroPro.
>   In short, I don't think it's an issue. Berry's progeny is being renamed in
> its entirety while the GRASS module is one of several hundred components of
> a product with a completely different name.
>   2)  If push comes to shove, it is possible that the existence of GRASS's
> "r.mapcalc" for many years (almonst a decade) predates the trademark
> application of the entire GIS package now being renamed "MapCalc". I'm sure
> that an attorney could provide a strong legal argument that the prior use
> establishes GRASS's right to the name.
>   But, overall, I think the reasoning in my point 1 is the most important:
> there is no potential legal conflict between a long-existing component named
> "r.mapcalc" and a product being renamed in its entirety to "MapCalc". I hope
> that Dr. Berry and crew agree that this is a petty and non-significant
> issue. I hope that they have more meaningful ways to spend their time.
> Rich
> Dr. Richard B. Shepard, President
>                        Applied Ecosystem Services, Inc. (TM)
>               Making environmentally-responsible mining happen. (SM)
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>             2404 SW 22nd Street | Troutdale, OR 97060-1247 | U.S.A.
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