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SubjectRe: Never ever use word BitKeeper if Larry does not like you
On Fri, Mar 14, 2003 at 08:03:14AM -0800, Larry McVoy wrote:
> > It is just how things work. The suggested that Red Hat could be used
> > as the basis for a different product, and the Red Hat lawyers would
> > have a field day, is moot as well, since companies like Mandrake have
> > already done this. "Look at us, we're Red Hat with PGCC-compiled
> > packages, a new install interface, and a few driver modules. Buy our
> > product instead."
> I'd suggest you hit
> and
> you'll see all of 9 instances of the term Red Hat on their web site
> and I can't find a single one where they are saying what you say
> they are saying.

Since I don't use Mandrake, I don't normally look at their web page. As I
recall, Mandrake began using the sales strategy that I mention above. Since
then (a few years later), they have branched into their own product. I would
expect any clone to do the same. Eventually people realize that "Hey, I don't
have to have the exact same interface, I can tweak this, and make it better
than the original" and other such things. This is where I put Mandrake now.

> I'm not sure why you think what you do but it's simply incorrect. Brand name
> is a well established business asset and businesses are absolutely allowed,
> and as someone else mentioned (thanks), obligated to protect.

You are allowed to defend your trademark, and out of necessity, you
are effectively obligated to protect your own trademark, however, the
question as to whether a judge would agree with you on a specific
defense claim is always up for grabs.

I suggest the non-BitKeeper supporters choose a different name, however, if
they choose to use a similar name, it is your obligation to defend your name,
and if you win, it will cost you money, and if you lose, it will fortify
the non-BitKeeper supporters' position. This is all normal business.

My position: It sucks to be you Larry. You've put in all this work,
you can't continue to pay your employees if you give your product away
for free, and since you don't give it away for free, people want to
re-invent your product so they can give it away for free. I don't think
the US laws cover your situation. They work a lot better for products such
as the automobile, or fridges, than for you. Sorry.


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