Trademarks and active enforcement
Posted Oct 4, 2006 0:42 UTC (Wed) by jzbiciak
(✭ supporter ✭
Parent article: The return of Iceweasel
Trademarks need to be actively enforced to retain their protection under US Trademark law. If they're not actively enforced, they become generic terms.
Firefox is a well-defined product with a rather specific scope and a company you can point at (The Mozilla Foundation) that actively tries to brand products and promote them. They consider this trademark highly valuable. If they do not go out to bat, they risk dilution of the trademark. IIRC, the NPL and MPL permit commercial forks of the Mozilla Firefox codebase. As a result, the Mozilla Foundation has an economic interest in protecting their trademarks from dilution.
Linus, in contrast, was never big on Linux as a trademark until someone else tried to trademark it in an effort to hijack the buzz around the name. After a bit of wrangling, Linux became a registered trademark assigned to Linus Torvalds. No one associated with Linux is too concerned about dilution, though. They're mainly concerned with being hijacked.
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