Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion
On Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 2:07 PM Sébastien 'sogal' Poher
<sogal@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Le lundi 03 juin 2019 à 02:17:46, Richard Brown a écrit :
On Mon, 3 Jun 2019 at 13:53, Sébastien 'sogal' Poher <sogal@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

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.

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.

Thank you for this input and the analysis of the ownCloud example.
Maybe the ownCloud example is not the only possible solution. Is there no
such thing as "trademark delegation", where SUSE still owns the name but
delegate us the right to use as we please ?

Normally, such a scenario requires both SUSE and openSUSE to give up
ownership of their names to a third entity, which licenses the names
to both of them. For something like that to work, the "SUSE" name and
branding would need to be owned either by the foundation or another
entity jointly owned by the foundation and the company. That entity
would then provide strong licenses to the branding to both SUSE and
openSUSE, usually some kind of irrevocable, permissive license or

That's probably the ideal scenario, but politically very difficult to
implement, as it puts the trademarks (theoretically) out of the
control of both SUSE and openSUSE. In practice, it probably would lead
to some kind of joint administration of the trademarks at the
foundation level or something of the sort.

真実はいつも一つ!/ Always, there's only one truth!
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