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blender logo legal issues

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:19 am
by alltaken
ok guys i have a question.

"who owns the rights/copyright/ trade mark on the blender logo"

this is a strange area, my mother works in the industry so i know a fair bit about this kind of thing.

since blender is an open source thing, is the logo also able to be used and distributed???

i realise that another compnay, product, software title could hapily use the Blender name (as long as it were not compeating with blender)

e.g. a calender co-ordination software should in theory be able to use the name belnder. (if my understanding is correct, although software might be a different issue from the real world)


however am i able to print the blender logo (or freekishly similar) onto clothes and such, without using the name blender associated with it??

i am not talking about a "one off" (although thats probably all it would be if i did it)

but imagine its for 1000's of shirts, what is the consensus there.

Alltaken

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:28 pm
by havocsoft
I believe it is the choice of whoever runs the Blender Foundation (which is ton I think).

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:54 pm
by xype
"i realise that another compnay, product, software title could hapily use the Blender name (as long as it were not compeating with blender)"

that's not entirely true, Blender can be considered a brand and one could argue that no software product in general could use the name "Blender". it really depends on how far the owners are willing to go. Apple is a nice example of a company protecting their IP really hard.

"however am i able to print the blender logo (or freekishly similar) onto clothes and such, without using the name blender associated with it??"

I think not, not if the Blender logo was registered at the patent and trademark office (which it most likely was, in 2000 or so).

The rights to the Blender logo still lie with the "old" NaN, I think. You certainly can't just take and use it - opensource or not. While I think it might be less of a problem to use the Blender Foundation logo (since the BF "owns" it) using the orange/blue Blender logo would be a more complicated matter.

"but imagine its for 1000's of shirts, what is the consensus there. "

You definately can NOT use it without asking the BF (and trough the BF the "owner" of the logo). I doubt you would be able to use the logo to print, say, 1000 t-shirts and sell them, without paying royalities (sp?) to the BF. For only one t-shirt there might not be a problem, but anything more and you are basically making money off someone else's work.

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:56 pm
by ox
Is it time to have a "free the blender logo" contest 8)

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:25 pm
by leinad13
I dont mean to sound rude but if your using the Blender logo then the Name Blender deserves to be on the T-Shirt.

What did u plan on printing?

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:42 pm
by Michaelv
http://www.ggmark.com/protect.html

The first and fourth paragraphs probably pertain to blender. Blender most likely would be condidered a generic mark since it was in use prior to its use by NaN or Neo, since I've had a "blender" on my kitchen counter far longer than NeoGeo or NaN have existed "blender" would have been a generic name/mark before its use by NaN or NeoGeo. The logo would most likely still be protected through its continued use since it was designed by the above companies, but then it would be dependent on the country of origins laws, common law country or civil law country and if the logo was registered and protected according to those laws. If I remember correctly the name was opened with the purchase of the source code as was the logo and the logo is available for download and use on the web. Since it's open source..........??

Openning this subject is like openning a large can of worms. ;)
Just as registrations must be maintained, through affidavits, fees, and renewal applications, marks must be maintained, through proper use and due diligence. The key to trademark maintenance lies in the source identification function of marks -- remember, marks identify the source or origin of products and services. If, and when, a mark no longer performs this function, it no longer is a mark; it becomes a generic term. Generic terms designate a type of product or service, without calling to mind any specific manufacturer or provider.


A generic term cannot be a mark. Generic terms are in the public domain, and may be used freely by anyone. The terms, "escalator," "shredded wheat," "kerosene," "aspirin," "yo-yo," "zipper," and "trampoline," all began as marks. Through lack of proper use, and/or enforcement, these marks became generic. Today, any company may use them to describe certain types of products..


Marks generally lose their source-identifying function through abandonment. As the term suggests, an abandoned mark is one which has been "thrown away." Intentional abandonment occurs when an owner fails to use a mark for a specified period, and does not intend to resume use. Marks also may be abandoned unintentionally, through improper use.


A mark may be abandoned "unintentionally," when the trademark owner fails to use it properly, or fails to monitor its use by others. "Improper use" is use which places the mark in danger of becoming generic. Thus, marks should be used consistently, and distinctively, to enhance their source-identifying function.


If an entity other than the trademark owner, uses a mark on its own products, in its own way, the mark's ability to function as an indicator of source is diminished. For this reason, all third-party uses of a mark should be licensed, and monitored carefully. Unlicensed uses, or unmonitored thirty-party licensing, can result in a finding that a mark has been abandoned.


Trademark infringement also diminishes the source-identifying capabilities of marks. When marks are appropriated unlawfully by unlicensed third parties, consumers are likely to become confused regarding the source or origin of goods or services. Therefore, trademark owners should take steps to discover, and prosecute, adverse users. A trademark owner's failure to prosecute known infringers of a mark, may result in a finding of abandonment of trademark rights.


Our Guide to Proper Trademark Use is designed to minimize the possibility that marks will become generic, or be abandoned, inadvertently, by their proprietors.

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:32 pm
by SirDude
Just to clear things up on this:

You do need to talk to Ton if you want to use
the logo, and get permission from him. Its really
not hard to do.

And if it were opened up then anyone could use it
for anything and then it wouldn't really be "protected" and reserved for blender specific/approved stuff. Its a good thing for it to be protected not a bad thing.

Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:36 am
by alltaken
xype wrote:"i realise that another compnay, product, software title could hapily use the Blender name (as long as it were not compeating with blender)"

that's not entirely true, Blender can be considered a brand and one could argue that no software product in general could use the name "Blender". it really depends on how far the owners are willing to go. Apple is a nice example of a company protecting their IP really hard.

"however am i able to print the blender logo (or freekishly similar) onto clothes and such, without using the name blender associated with it??"

I think not, not if the Blender logo was registered at the patent and trademark office (which it most likely was, in 2000 or so).

The rights to the Blender logo still lie with the "old" NaN, I think. You certainly can't just take and use it - opensource or not. While I think it might be less of a problem to use the Blender Foundation logo (since the BF "owns" it) using the orange/blue Blender logo would be a more complicated matter.

"but imagine its for 1000's of shirts, what is the consensus there. "

You definately can NOT use it without asking the BF (and trough the BF the "owner" of the logo). I doubt you would be able to use the logo to print, say, 1000 t-shirts and sell them, without paying royalities (sp?) to the BF. For only one t-shirt there might not be a problem, but anything more and you are basically making money off someone else's work.
xype this is the law in my country.

a trade mark or name such as "apple" for example.

needs to have a field of protection

i have a printout of about 10 pages of areas of protection.

for each area i want to protect i need to pay about $200 or somthing.

there are things such as food, engineering, cg, manufacture, clothing, retail.......

the thing is, if i have a company called "dougs food barn" and i sell food. someone who wants to write software can also use the name "dougs food barn" (not that they would want to) because they are not compeating, and the patent office has deemed the use of them as not conflicting.

its when dougs food barn (the food sales one) starts writing software to distrubute food, then it gets interesting.

apple computers may very well have bought protection in every single area that they legally could.

i could sell "apple" clothing i bet you (not using their logo but using the brand name apple on my shirts) unless of course they have bought the trade mark rigths to that.


the thing with logos is also very very similar to thoughs of the name. however with logos its slightly different i think.

its a huge can of worms this one, but still i would be interested.

BTW unless blender has been trade marked as a name for all feilds i could start a company and call it "blender" or sell a product and call it "blender" as long as its not software.

just checking up on the logo righs though, also i would be pretty disapointed if ton owned the rights to the logo, if the BF owned them then that would be fine with me.


Alltaken

And locks are for honest people

Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 9:43 am
by E2CMonkeyboy
I seriously doubt bf-foundation has the resources to go after anyone legaly esp internationally but its up to the original poster to do the right thing - morally.

-Monkey

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:44 am
by xype
alltaken wrote: just checking up on the logo righs though, also i would be pretty disapointed if ton owned the rights to the logo, if the BF owned them then that would be fine with me.

Alltaken


Duh?! Why would you be dissapointed if Ton owned the rights vs. the BF owning them? Why would it be better if the BF owned it? You're not likely to get the right to use it either way.

A trademark (like "Apple (TM)" or "Blender (TM)") is NOT the same as a logo. If a logo/logotype, as a symbol, is registered you can not use it without permission. Only the "owner" of the logo can decide how and where it can be used. If you started a company named "Funny Circle" and used the Blender logo, the owner of the logo could make you stop using it.

And there are good reasons such protections are in place. Creating a brand and a nice logo to go with it takes a lot of work, it'd be pretty unfair if everyone could come along saying "Gee, that's soo cool! I'm gonna print 1000 t-shirts with it and make some nice money off it!". It's like you'd build a house and when it's done a stranges comes by, says "Nice house!" and moves in in front of your eyes.

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:37 pm
by joeri
Still it's a good question.
The software is free to use, the documentation is, so why not the graphics?

Are screenshots free to use? And a splashscreen?
So what if I zoom in on the logo?

cont...

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 2:30 am
by SysAdm
It's probably like this:

Blender logo by itself can NOT be used for commercial use (profit) without written approval from the owner.

Blender logo by itself CAN be used for commercial use (non-profit) ie. business cards, letterhead, magnets on the side of your van... IF you use different colors. Usually when a logo is "Trade Marked", the colors and exact design can not be used without written consent. This of course is ONLY if the logo has been "Trade Marked".

The Blender logo and the word BLENDER next to it can NOT be used for ANY use unless previously stated by the owner or with written consent.

The word Blender can be used for anything. Without anybody's consent.

This of course is my personal input, but I bet I'm pretty close to reality. :)

____SysAdm

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:49 am
by xype
joeri wrote:Still it's a good question.
The software is free to use, the documentation is, so why not the graphics?


Because graphic designers are a bunch of arrogant bastards and much more protective of their work than developers? ;o)

SysAdm: Here in Austria (and maybe Europe?) there's a difference between a plain Trade Mark (which anyone can do) or a registered Trade Mark (which is granted by the patent office). Anything registered means the people have payed for and if the name "Blender" for software was granted a registration one would have problems using it in the countries of registration (same goes for the logo shape/colors, like you said).

I think the real problem lies with logos and names that a company has paid for to be developed. In case these are allowed to be freely used by anyone it effectively means the company has more or less "thrown money out the window" since they don't have the advantage of having an unique logo/brand to work with.

If someone develops a logo/name with the intent of it being "free" then any use is possible. But then the original creator can't stop anyone from abusing his work in "inappropriate" was, changing colors, shapes, names and still claiming it being _the_ logo. While with code one can improve it constantly if it's "open" with art the quality is subjective and modifications/abuse likely leads to arguments only.

Hm, I must drink my coffee now, before I bore people even more.