Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion
  • From: Richard Brown <RBrownCCB@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2019 14:17:46 +0200
  • Message-id: <>
On Mon, 3 Jun 2019 at 13:53, Sébastien 'sogal' Poher <sogal@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

What I like to know is if the issues with the trademark can be overcome or
not. I do understand that it will be limitating at so point, but what
consequences are we to expect ?

My expectation would be that if we do not change the name, an
"openSUSE Foundation" would likely face much stricter restrictions on
what it can use the openSUSE Trademark for, and stricter limitations
on allowing other people or organisations to use the trademark.

Using Sarah's example of the ownCloud situation as a reference.

OwnCloud GmbH (the company) have Trademark guidelines based on our
openSUSE ones.

With the key difference being any discussions regarding exceptional
use is decided by ownCloud GmbH - trademark@xxxxxxxxxxxx. (note the
'.com', not 'org')

In openSUSE's case, the first point of contact regarding any trademark
discussions is the openSUSE Board (board@xxxxxxxxxxxx to be precise).
The Board then take it onboard in the interests of the community, and
negotiate with SUSE when required.

This is quite unlike the ownCloud Foundation who seem to have
absolutely no say, rights to grant use, or control over the ownCloud
Trademark in any way manner or form.

The only rights the ownCloud Foundation have documented is a limited
right to use the text version of "ownCloud", which could be elevated
to full ownership of the trademark in the event of ownCloud GmbH no
longer existing.

So, taking that as an example, my expectation would be that if we go
down this road of having a Foundation without a rename, we could end
up in a very similar situation to ownCloud.

The openSUSE Project could lose the current influence that it enjoys
regarding the use of its trademark due to the unique nature of the
openSUSE Board simultaneously being representative of the community
and the company.
This unique legal duplicity (where the Board can be seen to be 'part
of SUSE' least through my role) will not be the case under an
openSUSE Foundation.
Even with all plans ensuring SUSE will retains influence and a close
relationship over the Foundation, for all legal matters regarding
Trademarks and such, I am almost 100% certain the entities will NEED
to be considered separately, leading to the comparative reduction in
community influence over the openSUSE Marks compared to the status

The removal of the communities influence regarding the Project's
Trademark is a situation I personally would find very distasteful,
which is why I outright reject Sarah's suggestion that ownCloud is an
example we should aim to emulate in this case.

They stand as a good example of a 'worst case'..the sort of worst case
we'd be able to avoid by renaming the Project.
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