Subject Re: [Firebird-general] Re: more mozilla & firebird confusion
Author Helen Borrie

At 09:28 AM 24/10/2003 +0000, you wrote:
>I wrote to pclinuxonline. I hope everything in my remarks is
>accurate, logical and polite.
>has registered this name as a trademark, and it is an infringement of
>this trademark to refer to the Mozilla browser as 'Firebird'.

Firebird hasn't yet completed registration of the trademark. However, from
the POV of trademark protocols, that does not mean it's OK for anyone to
hijack it for another Category 9 product. While registration makes it
easier for potential users to find out whether it's being used, it doesn't
(a) protect the rightful user from theft or (b) make it something to have
and to hold from this day forward

You can register a mark but, if you don't use it, you can't use
registration as an argument to defend it.

On the other hand, if you use a mark for a particular category, and you
keep using it, and no preceding user of it challenges you, that gives you
the right to the mark in that category and is the strongest legal argument
in defence of your right to the mark (our case) if you need to take legal
action against infringement. In order to protect your right, you are
required to defend it whenever someone else tries to use it for a product
or service in the same category (again, our case with regard to Mozilla).

On Mozilla's side, having been more than adequately informed of their
infringement and requested to put it right, they were placed under an
obligation to do so.

They would still be obliged, even had they not publicly agreed to
oblige. They don't have a right to use it for Category 9, because we
do. We used it regularly and continously for nearly three years before
they grabbed it. Their opinion on the matter is not relevant: it is our
opinion that matters. We claim that they are making unauthorised use of
our mark, we gave them time and space to correct the situation, they
haven't done so.

It's not a healthy situation for the real Firebird--even the twittiest
Mozilla blogger cannot dispute that any more--but, short of suing them, all
we can do is continue to remind them of their obligation or start making
noise again. Spilling it out to the rancorous horde again doesn't seem
like a rational solution, though.