|The stupid question is the question not asked|
Trademark Issuesby batkins (Chaplain)
|on Aug 16, 2003 at 02:54 UTC||Need Help??|
I've been working on an open-source Perl/Tk-based IM client over the past few months. It's almost ready for a stable release (0.4), but lately I've been having some concerns about trademark issues with its name.
When I first started this project last November, I decided to call it milkbone, mostly on a whim. But now I'm beginning to wonder if that could cause legal problems in the future. IANAL (nor do I know any), but I've talked to some people about the problem and the answer I keep getting is that I should be safe because my project and the products made by the Milkbone company are in different industries. In other words, the milkbone software wouldn't compete with Milkbone dog biscuits, so everything should be copacetic.
However, since I've never heard this from someone who knew exactly what they were talking about, the issue still bothers me. My question is this: Can I be sued for trademark infringement for using the name milkbone?
Also, the project's logo is a small white bone (visible in my home node). Would this also cause a problem?
If this does indeed look to be a sketchy situation, can anyone suggest a better name? :)
I apologize if this is too far offtopic, but I'm not sure where else to ask this. I considered Ask Slashdot, but there are three problems with that. 1) They could reject the question 2) The slashdot effect could easily cause my hosting account to exceed its monthly bandwidth cap and 3) the folks on Slashdot aren't generally as.....receptive as those here (to put it diplomatically).
Thanks for your time,