[Design-team] summary of my meeting with Pam Chestek yesterday

Ian Weller ian at ianweller.org
Fri Jul 30 17:42:36 UTC 2010

Yesterday I met with Pam Chestek, Red Hat's Senior IP Attorney, about
some of the requested and proposed changes to Fedora's trademarks.
Here's a summary of our conversation; Pam promised she'd respond with
the legal bases and answer any questions you guys might have.

Part of the meeting was attempting to understand, just for my own
personal knowledge, how the heck trademark law affects how we use and
distribute our logo. If you guys have any questions on this, feel free
to ask and Pam will answer.

I may have messed up on a few things below, so IANAL, Pam will correct
me, etc. :)

== The Fedora logo ==

One of the things I've been spending time on is changing all the little
"TM" symbols to our new font, Comfortaa. It was formerly written in
Interstate, which is a commercial font, so we wanted to change that.

From both a brand and legal perspective, both Pam and I agreed that
changing the font for "Fedora" in the logo would not be a good idea,
because it is far more likely to confuse someone who sees the Fedora
logo than impress them that we now use a free font.

== The Fedora Remix logo (secondary trademark) ==

Because the requirements for the logo permitted more than just a few
different colors, it was deemed OK to consolidate the usable color
palette into the Foundations colors.

The same from above applies to changing fonts to Comfortaa in the Remix

== The Foundations artwork ==

Since the core part of the foundations artwork is not the text, but
instead the symbol within the bubble, it is OK to change the font for
the foundation names ("Freedom", "Friends", "Features", "First") to
Comfortaa. That's up to you guys to decide if we want to do that or not
(I'm for it).

== The FUDCon logo ==

Similarly to the Fedora logo, Pam strongly advised not changing the font
of the FUDCon wordmark. However, she did state that she was fine with
the text for the location of where the FUDCon is held may be changed to

We guys need to decide if we want to change the font for the location in
the FUDCon logo. I'm for it.

== On trademarks in general ==

As Pam mentioned during the meeting Tuesday, there are only registered
trademarks and unregistered trademarks. If we create a logo that
uniquely represents Fedora, it's still a trademark of Fedora (and
therefore Red Hat), and we need to do the best we can to protect the
usage of that logo.

Since we are a free software community, we need to walk the fine line
between protecting usage of the trademarks and allowing usage of the
trademarks as much as we can without tarnishing our brand.

We will write up some basic usage guidelines for the Foundations artwork
and the FUDCon logo, and place them on the brand guidelines page for our
team, the Board, and Red Hat Legal to approve. It is the eventual goal
to make sure that those get moved into the overall trademark guidelines.

== Logo distribution ==

All SVG files containing the Fedora wordmark or the Infinity design logo
will continue to be distributed by request by emailing
logo at fedoraproject.org.

The remaining logos (at this point Foundations and FUDCon) will be
distributed through a tarball that may be downloaded via HTTP from
somewhere on fedoraproject.org. Although these logos are still Fedora
trademarks, Legal is not worried about rampant misuse of these logos,
but we will still be sure to enforce the proper use of our trademarks.

Ian Weller <ian at ianweller.org>
Where open source multiplies: http://opensource.com
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