Tim Conrow wrote:

> I don't know trademark law, but it seems unlikely that O'Reilly can
> trademark the concept of the camel, or all representations of the camel.

I checked out the O'Reilly trademark at one point at the USA Trademark and
Patent Office site.  I don't have time to dig up the results, but from
memory, I recall that they have something like:

  "A trademark on the image of a camel when used in conjunction with or
   referring to the Perl programming language."

This is typical of a trademark; you get a trademark on a general style of
image in reference to a very small area.

> Since the new symbol would be used to promote [pP]erl, which is good for
> O'Reilly, perhaps they would not object to the use of a sufficiently
> distinct rendering. (Has anyone trademarked the Alpaca yet? :-)

So, what you suggest probably would be trademark infringement.  Typically,
anything that could confuse a consumer is considered trademark infringement.
So, if the common person couldn't tell the difference prima facie between an
Alpaca and a Camel, then it'd be trademark infringement to use an Alpaca to
refer to Perl.

> Since perl developers don't conflict but in fact enhance O'Reilly's
> buisness, I'm not sure I see why they'd object.

The reason I originally investigated the trademark was that I was curious if
other publishers would be permitted to put the camel on their books, too.  I
had a feeling O'Reilly would prohibit this, but I have never asked them

I think that if O'Reilly released the camel for free use to anyone doing
something related to Perl, I think that would be the best for the community.
I bet there's no way we could hack the culture enough to give up the camel
> OT: What's the history of the camel? Does it predate O'Reilly's involvement?

Larry Wall probably knows for sure, but I believe O'Reilly was the first to
use the camel in reference to Perl.

I started using Perl right a few months after the first publication of the
"Programming Perl", and thus the camel predates my involvement in the Perl
community.  :)

Bradley M. Kuhn  -  http://www.ebb.org/bkuhn

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