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Re: [OT] Turtle

From: Thomas Hruska <thruska_at_cubiclesoft.com>
Date: 2006-05-18 17:49:24 CEST

Thomas Hruska wrote:
> Stefan Küng wrote:
>> On 5/18/06, GRH <gheard@neo.rr.com> wrote:
>>> Haven't you guys been using the tortoise image for years starting with
>>> TortoiseCVS? I thought that in trademark law, a trademark (even
>>> registered)
>> Slight misunderstanding here: we're not the same guys as the ones
>> working on TortoiseCVS. We started TortoiseSVN based on their ideas
>> and some of their shell code. But we've never worked for TortoiseCVS.
>> Their turtle is called Charlie, ours doesn't have a name (yet?).
>>> is invalid when the trademark in question has been in use for years
>>> (even
>>> unregistered)? I wouldn't know for sure, I haven't done any trademark
>>> work
>>> in at least 10+ years.
>> I'm not even sure we could trademark the tortoise. After all, it's an
>> animal like any other animal. Also the name "turtle" or "tortoise" is
>> not likely able to be trademarked (at least, I *hope* that's not
>> possible, but with todays law system and corporations, everything is
>> possible).
>> I think the only thing we actually could trademark would be the name
>> "TortoiseSVN" and our specific logo. But I doubt that someone else
>> would hijack "TortoiseSVN" or our logo.
>> Stefan
> Stefan,
> Registering a trademark is best done through a good patent/trademark
> lawyer the first time who understands the paperwork involved. Trademarks
> in the U.S. are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark
> Office (USPTO - www.uspto.gov). It is important to note that a
> registered trademark is different from a trademark but both are equally
> valid marks as long as witnesses are available to demonstrate historical
> proof of the strength of the mark.
> The fact is, unfortunately, TortoiseSVN makes NO claims to its mark.
> Microsoft is currently not in violation of Trademark Law because no one
> here has publicly labeled the mark as a Trademark. This is easily
> remedied by putting the letters TM into the logo's graphic mark and
> after any mention of TortoiseSVN. Then you have to re-write a LOT of
> documentation. Currently you use TortoiseSVN as a _noun_. You have to
> change it to be an _adjective_ to use the TM symbol. For example:

Correction: ThoughtWorks, Inc., not Microsoft.

Also, I just realized that the logo being used for TortoiseSVN is the
same one used for TortoiseCVS with just a color change to the
background. This weakens the strength of any trademark rights you may
make to the logo or name. Someone mentioned using TortoiseTFS and an
identical logo to reduce confusion, but that would only further weaken
any claims to the mark that this group might make.

Thomas Hruska
CubicleSoft President
Ph: 517-803-4197
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Received on Thu May 18 17:50:50 2006

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