Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Torvalds in renewed Aust Linux trademark push

Filed under
Linux

The 28 July letter from Perth lawyer Jeremy Malcolm -- posted online -- asks vendors to either confirm they had already purchased a licence from the Linux Mark Institute (LMI) to use the term or sign a statutory declaration waiving any claim to exclusive rights to its use. In return for a signature, Malcolm said, the LMI would ratify the vendor's use of the term Linux and waive all rights regarding any previous trademark infringement. That vendor would then, however, be required to obtain a licence costing between US$300 and US$600 from LMI for continued use of the term.

The LMI -- appointed by Torvalds as the "worldwide exclusive licensee of the Linux trademark for the purposes of protecting that trademark from misuse" -- and local body Linux Australia have been involved in an 18-month struggle to register the term as a trademark in Australia.

"You may or may not be aware that it is your legal responsibility to obtain a licence from the [LMI] before you are allowed to use the word 'Linux' as part of your product or service name or brand," Malcolm's letter said.

The lawyer told ZDNet Australia this morning that acceptance by recipients of the letter to its conditions would help in making Torvalds' case for legal ownership of the term Linux to IP Australia, the local intellectual property regulator. "The success of Mr Torvalds' application for registration of 'Linux' as a trademark depends on your assistance," reads the letter.

Malcolm did, however admit this time last year Australian companies using the word 'Linux' to promote and sell their products weren't legally obliged to pay royalties to LMI as long as they weren't trading their wares internationally.

Malcolm's letter attracted a mixed response from some targeted vendors.

"I haven't signed any similar statutory declaration for any other products, vendors or trademarks that I deal with commercially," Linux vendor Si2's principal consultant, Marc Englaro, told ZDNet Australia , adding he would be investigating the issue further.

However, Steve D'Aprano, operations manager at prominent open source vendor Cybersource, told ZDNet Australia his company would sign the statutory declaration.

"If Linux were to fall out of trademark protection, there would be nothing to prevent unauthorised, shady and unscrupulous individuals and organisations from using the term for cheap knock-offs cashing in on the name or other products which harm the reputation of Linux, and by association, ourselves," he said.

Malcolm dismissed initial speculation from some Linux community members that the letter was fraudulent, pointing out he had the backing of both Linux Australia and the LMI.

"If it was just me writing then no-one would pay any attention," he said. "But I think Linux Australia is going to put out a press release about it, just to confirm it's legitimate."

Malcolm admits the possibility exists the trademark will not be granted to Torvalds.

"If that's the case it means that nobody will be able to have exclusive rights to the word," he said, "which also means we won't be able to stop people using it in a misleading way."

By Renai LeMay
ZDNet Australia

More in Tux Machines

Networking and Security

  • FAQ: What's so special about 802.11ad Wi-Fi?
    Here are the broad strokes about 802.11ad, the wireless technology that’s just starting to hit the market.
  • 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet Now Official Standards
    In 2014, multiple groups started efforts to create new mid-tier Ethernet speeds with the NBASE-T Alliance starting in October 2014 and MGBASE-T Alliance getting started a few months later in December 2014. While those groups started out on different paths, the final 802.3bz standard represents a unified protocol that is interoperable across multiple vendors. The promise of 2.5 and 5 Gbps Ethernet is that they can work over existing Cat5 cabling, which to date has only been able to support 1 Gbps. Now with the 802.3bz standard, organizations do not need to rip and replace cabling to get Ethernet that is up to five times faster. "Now, the 1000BASE-T uplink from the wireless to wired network is no longer sufficient, and users are searching for ways to tap into higher data rates without having to overhaul the 70 billion meters of Cat5e / Cat6 wiring already sold," David Chalupsky, board of directors of the Ethernet Alliance and Intel principal engineer, said in a statement. "IEEE 802.3bz is an elegant solution that not only addresses the demand for faster access to rapidly rising data volumes, but also capitalizes on previous infrastructure investments, thereby extending their life and maximizing value."
  • A quick fix for stupid password reset questions
    It didn’t take 500 million hacked Yahoo accounts to make me hate, hate, hate password reset questions (otherwise known as knowledge-based authentication or KBA). It didn't help when I heard that password reset questions and answers -- which are often identical, required, and reused on other websites -- were compromised in that massive hack, too. Is there any security person or respected security guidance that likes them? They are so last century. What is your mother’s maiden name? What is your favorite color? What was your first pet’s name?
  • French hosting provider hit by DDoS close to 1TBps
    A hosting provider in France has been hit by a distributed denial of service attack that went close to one terabyte per second. Concurrent attacks against OVH clocked in at 990GBps. The attack vector is said to be the same Internet-of-Things botnet of 152,464 devices that brought down the website of security expert Brian Krebs. OVH chief technology officer Octave Klaba tweeted that the network was capable of attacks up to 1.5TBps.
  • Latest IoT DDoS Attack Dwarfs Krebs Takedown At Nearly 1Tbps Driven By 150K Devices
    If you thought that the massive DDoS attack earlier this month on Brian Krebs’ security blog was record-breaking, take a look at what just happened to France-based hosting provider OVH. OVH was the victim of a wide-scale DDoS attack that was carried via network of over 152,000 IoT devices. According to OVH founder and CTO Octave Klaba, the DDoS attack reached nearly 1 Tbps at its peak. Of those IoT devices participating in the DDoS attack, they were primarily comprised of CCTV cameras and DVRs. Many of these types devices' network settings are improperly configured, which leaves them ripe for the picking for hackers that would love to use them to carry our destructive attacks.

Android Leftovers

  • Goodbye QWERTY: BlackBerry stops making hardware
    BlackBerry CEO John Chen has been hinting at this move for almost a year now: today BlackBerry announced it will no longer design hardware. Say goodbye to all the crazy hardware QWERTY devices, ultra-wide phones, and unique slider designs. Speaking to investors, BlackBerry CEO John Chen described the move as a "pivot to software," saying, "The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital." The "Outsourcing to partners" plan is something we've already seen with the "BlackBerry" DTEK50, which was just a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4. Chen is now betting the future of the company on software, saying, "In Q2, we more than doubled our software revenue year over year and delivered the highest gross margin in the company's history. We also completed initial shipments of BlackBerry Radar, an end-to-end asset tracking system, and signed a strategic licensing agreement to drive global growth in our BBM consumer business." BlackBerry never effectively responded to the 2007 launch of the iPhone and the resulting transition to modern touchscreen smartphones. BlackBerry took swings with devices like the BlackBerry Storm in 2008, its first touchscreen phone; and the BlackBerry Z10 in 2013, the first BlackBerry phone with an OS designed for touch, but neither caught on. BlackBerry's first viable competitor to the iPhone didn't arrive until it finally switched to Android in 2015 with the BlackBerry Priv. It was the first decent BlackBerry phone in some time, but the high price and subpar hardware led to poor sales.
  • Oracle's 'Gamechanger' Evidence Really Just Evidence Of Oracle Lawyers Failing To Read
    Then on to the main show: Oracle's claim that Google hid the plans to make Android apps work on Chrome OS. Google had revealed to Oracle its "App Runtime for Chrome" (ARC) setup, and it was discussed by Oracle's experts, but at Google I/O, Google revealed new plans for apps to run in Chrome OS that were not using ARC, but rather a brand new setup, which Google internally referred to as ARC++. Oracle argued that Google only revealed to them ARC, but not ARC++ and that was super relevant to the fair use argument, because it showed that Android was replacing more than just the mobile device market for Java. But, here's Oracle's big problem: Google had actually revealed to Oracle the plans for ARC++. It appears that Oracle's lawyers just missed that fact. Ouch.
  • Understanding Android's balance between openness and security
    At the 2016 Structure Security conference, Google's Adrian Ludwig talked about the balance between keeping Android as open as possible, while also keeping it secure.
  • Google's Nougat Android update hits the sweet spot: Software 'isn't flashy, but still pretty handy'
    Nougat, Google's latest update of its Android smartphone software, isn't particularly flashy; you might not even notice what's different about it at first. But it offers a number of practical time-saving features, plus a few that could save money — and perhaps even your life. Nougat is starting to appear on phones, including new ones expected from Google next week.
  • How to change the home screen launcher on Android
  • Andromeda: Chrome OS and Android will merge
  • Sale of Kodi 'fully-loaded' streaming boxes faces legal test
  • Android boxes: Middlesbrough man to be first to be prosecuted for selling streaming kits

Endless OS 3.0 is out!

So our latest and greatest Endless OS is out with the new 3.0 version series! The shiny new things include the use of Flatpak to manage the applications; a new app center (GNOME Software); a new icon set; a new Windows installer that gives you the possibility of installing Endless OS in dual-boot; and many bug fixes. Read more

Expandable, outdoor IoT gateway runs Android on i.MX6

VIA’s “Artigo A830” IoT gateway runs Android on an i.MX6 DualLite SoC and offers HDMI, GbE, microSD, numerous serial and USB ports, plus -20 to 60° operation. As the name suggests, the VIA Technologies Artigo A830 Streetwise IoT Platform is designed for outdoor Internet of Things gateway applications. These are said to include smart lockers, vending machines, information kiosks, and signage devices that run “intensive multimedia shopping, entertainment, and navigation applications.” The outdoors focus is supported with an extended -20 to 60°C operating range, as well as surge and ESD protection for surviving challenges such as a nearby lightning strike. Read more