Legal: Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What are trademarks?
A:
Trademarks are amongst the most valuable assets of the company. Trademarks are important because they:

  • identify and distinguish a product or service
  • serve as an assurance of consistency of the quality of a product
  • assist in advertising and promoting a service or product.

Unlike rights derived from patents and copyrights, which provide protection for only a limited number of years, Trademark rights can last forever. Trademark rights can also be lost forever. The exclusive right granted in a Trademark is usually lost as a result of careless or improper use, usually by allowing the mark to be used as generic or descriptive words for products. All of the following were once valuable trademarks in the USA: aspirin, escalator, cellophane, zipper, shredded wheat, corn flakes and kerosene. All became common or generic words because their owners did not use them carefully and correctly and did not prevent the improper use of them by others.

 

Q: Some trademark attributions still say Novell (or even AT&T or Bell Labs), which is correct?
A:
The correct attribution is: "UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries". Some licenses (which date from before the merger of X/Open Company with The Open Group) still require the following attribution: "UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Ltd." All licenses will be updated in due course; in the meantime, The Open Group is happy for either attribution to be used. Any other attribution is incorrect.

 

Q: If I believe The Open Group intellectual property is being infringed upon, how should I report that to?
A:
The Open Group respects the intellectual property rights of others and asks others to do the same. If you believe that The Open Group intellectual property rights are being violated, please contact  our Legal Department.

 

Q: I have more questions. Whom should I contact?
A:
Please feel free to email your question to our Legal Department.

 

The Open Group
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