Open letter to Red Hat about your logo “similarities” with the DataPortability Workgroup

I’ve seen a few things about Fedora recently in my dashboard and I finally decided to take a look at what the stories have all been about. I read TechCrunch’s take on the logo war Red Hat is bringing on the DataPortability WorkGroup. My first thought was how similar the Fedora logo is to Dosh Dosh’s logo and the Quark logo. Then, I remembered reading a post about how similar the Quark logo was to a range of others, which also looks like the Fedora logo. Take a look:

The two logos from Red Hat’s Fedora and the DataPortability WorkGroup:
Similarities between DataPortability and Red Hat Fedora

Here’s the dosh dosh logo:
dosh dosh logo

Here’s the Quark logo:
Quark logo

Here’s a bevy of similar logos:
Similar logos
(This image is from Under Consideration)

So, here’s the deal Red Hat. Your logo is no where in the vicinity of unique! You certainly can not claim the infinity symbol is yours to trademark. You are supposed to be a participant in the open source community, and this kind of action doesn’t bode well there. No one is confused about the two brands, particularly since one doesn’t have a commercial product or offers services!

My advice, stop this bullying while people still respect you.


Justin Kistner

** Update

It appears that the DataPortability WorkGroup wants to freshen their logo anyway, so if you want to help them they have started a logo competition.

Even though the DataPortability WorkGroup has chosen the high road, I still think it’s important for people to know that Red Hat was in the wrong here. Their logo shares more in common with logos that were created before Fedora’s than it does with the one from the DataPortability WorkGroup. I want to advance that message because I don’t think the DataPortability WorkGroup deserves to look like hacks when Red Hat is far guiltier of copying other logos.

Thank you for the support, I really appreciate it as a member of DataPortability, but to be honest it is a little harsh blaming Red Hat.

First off Red Had has not pursued legal action towards DataPortability, they merely sent a cease and desist letter (probably with only one person making the call to do so).

Secondly, even if the logo is similar but not enough to be litigated, the fact that there is any question makes it not worth the challenge.

Thank you again for your support, but Red Hat is in no wrong, actually they are in their legal right to protect their trademark when any other symbols appear similar in the public space.

From Jacob Chapel on February 22nd, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Thank you again for your support, but Red Hat is in no wrong, actually they are in their legal right to protect their trademark when any other symbols appear similar in the public space.

You’re welcome. I really believe in the work you folks are doing. I know they have a right to protect their logo, but as the above images demonstrate, their marque is far more similar to many others and those organizations deployed their logos sooner.

From Justin on February 22nd, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Red Hat is perfectly within their rights to protect their trademark. Think about it from their perspective for a second. If some group came along and designed a logo that looked a hell of a lot like the Jive logo, you know that we’d have legal on it in a hot minute.

From Chris Brentano on February 22nd, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Chris, I know they have a right to protect their trademark. I just don’t think the similarities between their’s and DP’s are as strong as Fedora’s and the other logos displayed above.

They have a right to protect, but they are not right about this defense.

From Justin on February 22nd, 2008 at 3:18 pm

[...] היות ומאבק כזה היה צפוי להסתיים בניצחון פירוס (לדוגמא: ראו רשימה של לוגואים אחרים שדומים לרכיב של כובע-אדום). ובמקום זאת יצאו בקריאה [...]

From להוריד את הכובע בפני קבוצת “ניידות-המידע” on February 23rd, 2008 at 2:58 am

While I agree that the logo similarities do not warrant any type litigation, RH just like many other companies are forced to protect themselves or give up rights to their own trademarks and or IP. The current laws which need to be changed encourage this type of barbarianism between groups who should not and never have any animosity between one another.

From Casey on February 23rd, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I don’t think the logo dispute involved the the briefcase part of the logo. The logo on the DP homepage is a lot like the Fedora logo. And to say the “thought bubble” they use is so close to any of those other logos is a bit extreme. I’m a member of DP, and I agree it’s no fun getting a C&D over the logo

From Kamisamanou Burgess on February 23rd, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Similarity is not the only important thing here. Far more important is how likely it is that the average consumer would confuse the marks. It is unlikely that someone would think that the Bahamas or an art gallery are produced by Fedora simply due to the similar logos because of the incredibly different product spaces. However, it is likely that someone would think that Data Portability’s logo is, because Fedora also promotes openness and is in the same sector.

From Amy J. on February 24th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

@Kamisamanou, are you seriously suggesting that the Fedora logo doesn’t look as much like the Designers Network logo as it does the DP logo? Or the dosh dosh logo? I think it is far more extreme to say Red Hat has a claim on the infinity symbol which is far older and more widespread than the thought bubble.

@Amy, I see their separation as commercial vs. non-profit.

But, the truth is this is all a moot point anyway because I agree with DP’s decision to capitalize on the positive publicity by taking the high road. The debater in me didn’t agree with Red Hat’s claim, but the marketer in me agrees that argument doesn’t play as well as a logo contest. :)

From Justin on February 26th, 2008 at 5:37 pm

I’m sorry Justin, but you’re wrong. You clearly don’t have an understanding of logo copyrights and trademarks. Talk to any copyright lawyer and he will tell you that the logos are similar enough to force dp to change. The logos don’t have to be identical for them to be infringing. What fedora is claiming is SPECIFIC USE of the infinity symbol, not the infinity symbol itself. They have a symmetric infinity symbol tilted at a 45 degree angle with a letter inscribed in it. DP has a symmetric infinity symbol tilted at a 45 degree angle with a letter inscribed in it.

The fact that other companys have similar logos is irrelevant unless there has been a ruling regarding it.

In short, you’re not a lawyer, you have no knowledge of the subject, so shut the fuck up.

From Irish Jim on February 27th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Wow, Irish Jim, why are you so angry?

From Justin on February 28th, 2008 at 12:09 am

What say you about all of this?

Trackback URL Comment feed

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Clicky Web Analytics