Joined: Oct. 2006
||Posted: Jan. 27 2008,04:43
I quoted the wikipedia article to highlight the fact that although, as far as I know, "Damn Small" hasn't been registered as a trademark, it can still receive a certain degree of protection under the law.
Quote from the article:
While DSL may not be a commercial entity, it seems that non-profits receive equal protection under (US?) law as for-profits. If so, I assume that the same laws against, e.g. tort, passing off, etc, would apply as well.
|Passing off may provide a remedy in a scenario where a business has been trading under an unregistered trademark for many years, and a rival business starts using the same or a similar mark.|
I agree that deciding whether a name is generic, or not, isn't a black-and-white question, since different people may form different opinions.
It may be useful to read this section, which explains how the law determines whether or not a trademark has acquired "distinctiveness" (as opposed to being "generic"):
I think there are sufficient other ways to describe a "generic" product in the same class as DSL, all of which would have a more descriptive effect to 'the layman' than "Damn Small Linux".
Mini Linux distro
Small-sized LiveCD distro
So, I disagree with the argument that the term "Damn Small" has become genericized when referring to Linux distros.