[OSGeo-Conf] About FOSS4G as a trademark
andrew.ross at eclipse.org
Wed Sep 24 08:52:05 PDT 2014
For what it's worth, it's worth seeking expert advice on this.
Over the past many years, there are many many parties who have an
interest in & have used the FOSS4G trademark, which was the clear
intent. Permission from the various interested parties may be needed to
consolidate ownership of the trademark.
Related in case it is helpful, this is how trademarks for project names
are handled at the Eclipse Foundation (& working groups like
LocationTech). In addition to the search, the Foundation's legal team
finds instances of that trademark being used and asks their permission
via. a transfer agreement. Aside: FWIW, somewhat related, copyright
remains in the hands of the original copyright holders.
In general, it seems to me that the discussion may be unduly conflating
concerns for steady/stable income with concerns for the FOSS4G trademark.
On 22/09/14 06:06, Steven Feldman wrote:
> Responding on Board and Conference lists as requested
> A trademark needs to be owned by a legal entity that is able and
> willing to enforce it. I am not sure that it would be possible to have
> the trademark owned by multiple entities, the common approach is to
> license or authorise subsidiaries or affiliates to use the trademark.
> There are costs of registration which I imagine would be significantly
> less for one registration rather than multiple registrations by local
> chapters - and what about local chapters who do not wish to pursue
> this route individually?
> I don't agree with Venka that we should leave the FOSS4G brand "/to be
> "Free" for use. Rather than asking people to seek "permission" for
> anyone, they should be encouraged to to use it to spread it further by
> organizing big and small events in their geographic vicinity. A "soft
> condition" could be set that events that involve one or more Charter
> Members (CM) as organizers are automatically entitled to use FOSS4G in
> naming their local or regional event/." If we want our events
> programme to be the principal source of funding for our project
> support, outreach and education activities then I think that we need
> to manage it and set some rules around its usage.
> Ultimately the Board should be making a decision about the usage of
> the FOSS4G brand after considering what it sees as the purpose of the
> OSGeo foundation and what funding needs it has. We are faced with a
> choice between continuing in the informal and communal manner that has
> worked well for us up to now or moving towards a more structured and
> professional approach as we try to capitalise on the massive growth in
> interest in open source geo software and solutions - no doubt, there
> are several other options to consider
> It's good that we have so many people who care so much
> On 21 Sep 2014, at 13:34, Jeroen Ticheler <jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net
> <mailto:jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net>> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> In the spirit of OSGeo it would be good to have all this thread
>> discussed on at least conference and board list. A number of people
>> that responded earlier on on this thread have been excluded from this
>> discussion and I'm sure we have had many more reading it with interest.
>> GeoCat Bridge for ArcGIS allows instant publishing of data and
>> metadata on GeoServer, MapServer, PostGIS and GeoNetwork. Visit
>> http://geocat.net for details.
>> Jeroen Ticheler
>> GeoCat bv
>> Veenderweg 13
>> 6721 WD Bennekom
>> Tel: +31 (0)6 81286572
>>> Op 21 sep. 2014 om 02:50 heeft Venkatesh Raghavan
>>> <venka.osgeo at gmail.com> het volgende geschreven:
>>> Dear All,
>>> I am addressing this as personal mail to people with whom I have
>>> discussed this matter earlier and also to some of you who might
>>> be expecting some kind of response from my side to your recent
>>> mails on the OSGeo mailing lists
>>> I have followed some of the discussions about the FOSS4G Trademark
>>> and would like to mention the following;
>>> 1) I do not think that the FOSS4G "Trademark" need/should be the
>>> sole ownership of OSGeo Foundation registered in Delaware, USA.
>>> FOSS4G has been used even before OSGeo was formed and has been
>>> effectively used by Local Chapters (Japan etc.) almost synonymous
>>> with the inception of OSGeo.
>>> 2) If at all the FOSS4G "Trademark" is registered, it can be registered
>>> by OSGeo Foundation for US territory and by Local Chapters in their
>>> respective territories or region. Possibility of considering Trademark
>>> registration for EU. I have talked to some of the local chapter leaders
>>> and they feel that having such a distributed ownership of FOSS4G
>>> Trademark is a good idea. Also less financial burden on OSGeo
>>> 3) FOSS4G has spread widely because we have put no restrictions on
>>> the free usage of the FOSS4G acronym for the legitimate purpose of
>>> promoting Free and Open Source Software (recently, I use the word
>>> "Solution" instead of "Software" to connote Software, Data and
>>> Standards Geoinformatics).
>>> 4) The think FOSS4G should remain to be "Free" for use. Rather than
>>> asking people to seek "permission" for anyone, they should
>>> be encouraged to to use it to spread it further by organizing big and
>>> small events in their geographic vicinity. A "soft condition" could be
>>> set that events that involve one or more Charter Members (CM) as
>>> organizers are automatically entitled to use FOSS4G in naming their
>>> local or regional event. This would give the CMs
>>> responsibility of seeing that FOSS4G is used in the true and right
>>> If you have any suggestions to improve/add the the above points
>>> let me know in the next 12 hours after which we can send in the
>>> OSGeo Mailing lists in which this issue have been raised.
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