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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject Trademarks and Derivative Works
Date Thu, 16 Jun 2011 17:59:09 GMT
Apache's trademarks, including the HADOOP and APACHE HADOOP trademarks, can
be applied to software distributed by Apache Software Foundation. Once
distributed by us, we permit that software to be redistributed by others.
(E.g., Best Buy can put APACHE HADOOP on their store shelves if they want
to.) Under default trademark law, those others can distribute HADOOP and
APACHE HADOOP only if it is a redistribution of *our* HADOOP or APACHE
HADOOP software. (That's why you can buy Jello Brand gelatin at Safeway.)
Those trademarks are our names for our software. ASF is the source and
origin of those software goods. Nobody else can apply those trademarks to
their own software.

 

That doesn't mean that the entire third party software distribution must be
*our* software, although to claim that such a larger distribution *is*
HADOOP or APACHE HADOOP would be trademark infringement. So the real
question we should be asking is:

 

How can we encourage third parties use our HADOOP and APACHE HADOOP
trademarks properly to indicate that their unique third party software
*contains, or works with, or includes, or is a plug-in for,  or is a larger
distribution of, or supports* APACHE HADOOP?

 

Companies use lots of marketing techniques to protect their trademarks and
simultaneously to let third parties help to advertise those trademarked
goods and generate goodwill for them. Apache should consider doing some of
the same things. It will be to our advantage to have HADOOP and APACHE
HADOOP software better known and widely used throughout the world. For that
purpose, we should be defining the rules we want to *encourage* third
parties to follow, not arguing about derivative work analysis or voting on
whether or not something is a trademark.

 

As you look around the web for the software products you buy, which
trademark marketing techniques do you like or dislike? Maybe those examples
will help us focus the discussion here about our HADOOP and APACHE HADOOP
trademarks.

 

Best,

 

/Larry

 

 

Lawrence Rosen

Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com) 

3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Cell: 707-478-8932

Apache Software Foundation, member and counsel (www.apache.org) 

Open Web Foundation, board member (www.openwebfoundation.org) 

Stanford University, Instructor in Law

Author, Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property
Law (Prentice Hall 2004)

 


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