Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (325 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Project name and logo discussion

On 17/06/2019 19:29, Richard Brown wrote:
Top posting because I'm not responding to a single post but is still
relevant to the thread as a whole.

I've had a chat with our friends at SUSE Legal about this topic,
especially the possibility of the Foundation owning / controlling the

While SUSE does not wish to formally rule anything out at this time,
their opinion is that, if the openSUSE Project was to formally request
that SUSE transfers ownership of the openSUSE trademarks to the
Foundation, then SUSE would almost certainly have to decline that
This is because it is highly unlikely any trademark law anywhere would
be compatible with the idea of a legally separate organisation owning
a trademark that contains another organisations trademark.

One possibility open for consideration is the idea of licensing the
openSUSE Marks to the Foundation.
Such a thing will need to happen even if the Foundation forms under a
different name but if we were to wish to continue using the openSUSE
name in our distributions.
It is possible that such a license could be exclusive and maybe non-revokable.
But any such license will likely have to come with conditions, which
could restrict Foundation from some activities which could be seen to
be competition with SUSE's business of providing support for software.
While there is further investigation required, it is not expected that
any such restriction would impact openSUSE's current activities which
include 3rd parties redistributing openSUSE in a commercial setting
(Box sets, pre-installed on hardware, hosting).

And it should go without saying, but for absolute clarity, there isn't
a desire from SUSE to overly restrict the openSUSE community from
being able to do what it wants.
Whatever the community decides to request in regards to the
Foundation, Trademarks, etc, there will be an extensive effort to find
the most reasonable accommodating solution that works well for all

I think the discussion has reached a point where as a Project we
should consider a straight 'Yes/No' vote for the question of "Should
openSUSE continue to use the openSUSE name and trademarks?"

If there are no objections I'll be reaching out to Stasiek and other
volunteers to start the process of a formal member vote this week.

Personally I'd rather wait slightly and just run one series of votes at the same time for this the, branding / logo changes and possibly an initial foundation concept vote (if there isn't broad support for continuing that discussion further).

Unless there is good reason to get the name debate out and done now then defer the others until later (obviously the final foundation vote will need to happen much after this one because the name part will be kinda important.


Simon Lees (Simotek)

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SUSE Linux Adelaide Australia, UTC+10:30
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