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Open-source movements butt heads over logo

Agam Shah | Aug. 10, 2012
A gear logo proposed to represent and easily identify open-source hardware has caught the eyes of the The Open Source Initiative, which believes the logo infringes its trademark.

"If it is found that the Gear logo infringes OSI's trademark, then I suppose I could receive a cease-and-desist letter. That might be pretty disastrous for me if I had to actually scrap my inventory," Vandenbout said.

But if open-source hardware would require a licensing agreement with OSI, most of the community will want another logo, Vandenbout said.

"I wouldn't mind switching to another mark. It's not a big deal to change until actual hardware has been constructed," Vandenbout said.

OSHWA should just free itself from OSI, said Alexander Chemeris, CEO of Fairwaves LLC in Russia. OSI should issue a release for the gear logo, and allow the open-source hardware organization to use the logo under its own rules.

"I prefer to see these organizations independent." Chemeris said. "I don't want OSI troubles ... to anyhow touch open-source hardware."


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