Topics

club logo vs. JMRI trademarks…


George Warner
 

Moof JMRI developers,

I had a request from a club using JMRI to change the PanelPro logo on the main window (dialog?) to their club logo.

Took me a little while to figure out how but I thought of two questions I want to ask you:

1) Legal trademark? Is it allowed to do this? Or is this verboten? 

(Note: the image on the splash screen with the logo and the "Press F1 to disable Logix" text is still the JMRI logo; I'm not changing that one.)

2) The way I found to change this was to replace the ./resources/logo.gif file in the PanelPro application. Unfortunately this gets replaced when a new build is installed. Is there anyway to put it in the Users File Location and have JMRI find it there instead?

TIA!

-- 
Enjoy,
George Warner
eMail, Message, or FaceTime: <geowar1@...>




Bob Jacobsen
 

So long as the club isn’t trying to pass JMRI off as their own creation, I don’t see a problem with replacing the image and leaving the text on that window.

You could update the code to access the file via `FileUtil.findURL("program:resources/logo.gif”)` and then put the new icon in the user area. If one club wants to do this, there might be more.

Bob

On Apr 13, 2020, at 11:59 PM, George Warner via groups.io <geowar1=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Moof JMRI developers,

I had a request from a club using JMRI to change the PanelPro logo on the main window (dialog?) to their club logo.

Took me a little while to figure out how but I thought of two questions I want to ask you:

1) Legal trademark? Is it allowed to do this? Or is this verboten?

(Note: the image on the splash screen with the logo and the "Press F1 to disable Logix" text is still the JMRI logo; I'm not changing that one.)

2) The way I found to change this was to replace the ./resources/logo.gif file in the PanelPro application. Unfortunately this gets replaced when a new build is installed. Is there anyway to put it in the Users File Location and have JMRI find it there instead?

TIA!

--
Enjoy,
George Warner
eMail, Message, or FaceTime: <@geowar1>
--
Bob Jacobsen
@BobJacobsen


Bob M.
 

Bob and George?

How about a JMRI logo image drawn on a "transparent" background, that will _always_ be present in its usual place, but _adding an option_ for using a user-selected image file as the "background" image? That way the club's "graphical designer" can "work around" the existing JMRI logo to include the club-specific image, but JMRI's identity remains intact.

Bob M.


Randall Wood <rhwood@...>
 

As I understand trademark law, allowing the incorporation of the JMRI logo into some other logo without requiring that a license for proposed use would lead to an inability to defend the JMRI logo or prevent other misuse. Letting a non-solid background exist under the logo would be allowing that use without a license. (This is why railroads require that model train manufactures license their logos although there are some automatic fair use provisions in trademark law.)

Therefor, the legally right things to do are either not allow the logo’s replacement at all, or to allow the logo’s complete replacement.

Randall

On Apr 14, 2020, at 08:49, Bob M. <jawhugrps@...> wrote:

Bob and George?

How about a JMRI logo image drawn on a "transparent" background, that will _always_ be present in its usual place, but _adding an option_ for using a user-selected image file as the "background" image? That way the club's "graphical designer" can "work around" the existing JMRI logo to include the club-specific image, but JMRI's identity remains intact.

Bob M.






Bob Jacobsen
 

Just to sharpen up Randall’s point a bit (IANAL, IANYL, and TINLA):

There are two (main) kinds of trademark. We have registered the names JMRI and DecoderPro. Registered trademarks are the (R) ones. Unregistered ones are the “TM” kind; for us that’s the "PanelPro", "DispatcherPro", "SignalPro", "SoundPro", "TrainPro", “Logix" names, their associated logos and the DecoderPro logo. Our duties around these two types are the same; the difference only comes in when we have to take downstream action. We don’t claim anything else as a trademark (we do have copyright and other rights to various things).

Trademark law is about use for identification. One is allowed to use somebody’s else’s trademark to refer to or comment on _their_ product, i.e. in a review. That doesn’t dilute the trademark, and the trademark holder doesn’t need to (and probably can’t) do anything about that. So there’s no concern with e.g. somebody having the JMRI name or logo on their web site to say they use it or contribute to it or hate it. For an example of somebody using a JMRI trademark that way, see the panel images here[1].

There would be (and occasionally has been) a need to act if somebody uses one of the trademarks in a way that might serve to identify (i.e. label) something _else_ as JMRI. (Analogy: putting an SP logo on a model and selling it) In most cases, all that’s needed is a mention nearby that “DecoderPro is a registered trademark of the JMRI project” and our URL to clarify the meaning of the mark and use.

“Reverse passing off” also comes under trademark law: Somebody removes trademarks, relabels, and tries to pass an item off as their own. This has also happened in our case, and action was needed. I don’t think that’s what’s happening in the extant club example, as nobody's trying to do anything shady, and the third element (pass off) isn’t present because the other trademarks have not been removed. (Arguably the 2nd element isn’t either for the same reason; that would need consideration by a lawyer as it depends on the status of the club logo, etc)

Alternately, for the transparent background idea, there’s a standard for whether a mark has been modified. The mark is still the trademarked mark, even if modified, if “The modified mark must contain what is the essence of the original mark, and the new form must create the impression of being essentially the same mark.” In other words, you can’t appropriate somebody’s trademark as your own just by modifying it a bit if it’s still somebody else's recognizable mark.

But note that the modified-by-background image JMRI logo is still on JMRI as an identification. It’s not being used anywhere else, to point to anything else. (This is different from putting an SP logo on a model; it’s more like graffitiing the logo on a real train; not a federal offence.) It seems to me that this is OK either way: If that background leaves the essence of the mark, then it’s still identifying JMRI; if not, it’s the same as replacing it entirely, which is also OK.

Bottom line: I think either thing suggested would be OK, replacing just that logo or making it possible to put a background behind it.


Setting trademark aside, and with full understanding that I have no artistic talent, would a transparent background really work? The signal tower’s a pretty big visual element. I guess you could put a bigger image behind it to give more room.

Bob

[1] http://www.quaker-valley.com/CTC/QV_CTCnew.html

On Apr 14, 2020, at 6:02 AM, Randall Wood via groups.io <rhwood=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

As I understand trademark law, allowing the incorporation of the JMRI logo into some other logo without requiring that a license for proposed use would lead to an inability to defend the JMRI logo or prevent other misuse. Letting a non-solid background exist under the logo would be allowing that use without a license. (This is why railroads require that model train manufactures license their logos although there are some automatic fair use provisions in trademark law.)

Therefor, the legally right things to do are either not allow the logo’s replacement at all, or to allow the logo’s complete replacement.

Randall
On Apr 14, 2020, at 08:49, Bob M. <jawhugrps@...> wrote:

Bob and George?

How about a JMRI logo image drawn on a "transparent" background, that will _always_ be present in its usual place, but _adding an option_ for using a user-selected image file as the "background" image? That way the club's "graphical designer" can "work around" the existing JMRI logo to include the club-specific image, but JMRI's identity remains intact.

Bob M.
Bob Jacobsen
@BobJacobsen


danielb987
 

I personally thinks it would be better to replace the original logo with the club logo, instead of having a transparent background.

Daniel


Harald Barth
 

The code is under the GPLv2. So it is of course possible to do
everything that the GPLv2 permits to do like taking all the code and
making a derivate work. Like a copy with all the logos exchanged. That
work is then of course not JMRI and can not say it is by displaying
the JMRI trademarks. IANAL and so on ;-)

Harald.


George Warner
 

See PR #8365: Main window logo now loads from USER before INSTALLED locations 


Peter Ulvestad
 

Looking at what I can do for my club. See attached pic.

--
Peter Ulvestad

JMRI Users Group Moderator - http://www.jmri.org ( http://www.jmri.org )
Tam Valley Group Moderator - https://tamvalleydepot.com/ ( http://tamvalleydepot.com/ )
Sprog-DCC Group Moderator - http://www.sprog-dcc.co.uk/ ( http://www.sprog-dcc.co.uk/ )
Edmonton Model Railroad Association - http://www.emra.club/


Petr Šídlo
 

I use club logo.
When I start PanelPro logo is displayed OK.
When I start DecoderPro first and from menu PanelPro there is origin PanelPro Logo.

--
Petr Šídlo
Czech Republic
https://sites.google.com/site/sidloweb/