Trademarks & OSMF

Everything You Wish You Knew About Trademarks But Were Afraid to Ask™️

Room: Track 2

Sunday, 20:00 UTC
Duration: 20 minutes (plus Q&A)

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  • Kathleen Lu

The purpose of this talk is to give those interested a foundational explanation of what trademark law is and how the OSMF Trademark Policy works.

There have been several questions raised to LWG regarding the OSMF Trademark Policy and how it applies in certain circumstances. Trademark law is often conflated with other types of intellectual property law and the scope of trademark rights is not well-understood. In addition, the LWG sometimes fields questions from OSM users or groups on how to use the Trademark Policy and forms and templates mentioned in the policy. This talk will go over some common questions and give the audience a chance to ask more.

Outline for the talk:

Trademarks 101:

What is a trademark? (vs other forms of intellectual property, like copyright, data rights, patent, trade secrets, publicity rights)

How do you get trademark rights?

  • Trademarks are jurisdictional
  • Acquiring rights via usage
  • Trademark registration

Trademark use vs not trademark use

  • Using a term "as a mark"
  • Sponsorship/endorsement
  • What trademark doesn’t protect
  • fair uses

OSM trademarks:

  • The OSMF Trademark Policy
  • Common uses
  • Pre-policy use cases
  • Domains
  • Using the permission template