Hamburgers try to TM Linux

Application filed with German patent office -- three months to object

Hamburg patent lawyers Hauck, Graalfs, Wehnert have filed a claim with the German patent office to trademark the word Linux, according to Germany's c't (story in German). The news service says that a spokesman for the partnership confirmed the application. c't also notes that Linux is listed in the German Markenblatt (listing of brand names) dated 9th September under the software category. The trademark is said to be owned by Roy Boldt of Hamburg systems house and consultancy ChannelOne, but so far c't has been unable to contact him for an explanation. But establishing ownership of a trademark in one country isn't always a great deal of use. Linus Torvalds owns the Linux trademark in the US, but he seems not to have gone on any kind of global offensive. German regulations allow three months for objections to the application, and no doubt there'll be plenty. And even if any one company did manage to get hold of the Linux trademark, actually trying to stop anybody else distributing software under the label would be a sure-fire way not to sell any software yourself. ®

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