[Talk-us] Facts about the world

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Thu Apr 9 23:35:54 UTC 2015

Simon Poole writes:
 > Am 08.04.2015 um 15:23 schrieb Russ Nelson:
 > > Simon Poole writes:
 > >  > The wiki already explains: they hold a trademark for GR which makes
 > >  > using the "official" names of the routes essentially impossible in and
 > > 
 > > Perhaps French trademark law is different than US trademark law, but
 > > in the US, you can *always* use a trademark truthfully. Thus, you can
 > > call Coke-a-Cola Coke-a-Cola all day long and they can't stop you.
 > > 
 > Yes, but we are using their trademark on a competing product, aka Pespi
 > labelling their bottles with Coke-a-Cola (made by Pepsi).

Their trademark applies to the name of the trails and the signage on
the trails, correct? Then OSM is free to say "This is the GR trail",
if French trademark law works like US trademark law.

They could have a trademark on the service of creating trails, but OSM
isn't creating any trails -- it's just talking about existing ones.

They could have a trademark on a guide book for the trails, but OSM isn't
making a guidebook, and even if it did, it would use a different

They could have a copyright on their presentation of the trails,
assuming it has some element of creativity. They could assert moral
rights to the presentation of the trails. But I don't know of, nor can
I imagine, any law which prevents you from speaking about something
accurately without disparaging it. You'd have to live in a
totalitarian society which had the ability to control your speech and
your writing.

The purpose of a trademark is to protect the name of something so that
somebody doesn't buy the wrong thing. You have to be selling something
to have a trademark, and somebody has to interfere with those sales to
infringe the trademark. Saying "This is the mumblefoo trail" can't
infringe a trademark.

--my blog is at    http://blog.russnelson.com
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