Statement on Daniel Pocock

submited by
Style Pass
2024-06-06 18:00:12

Following the undue registration of the Debian trademark in Switzerland by the company of an ex-Debian Developer - who has been conducting a heavy smear campaign against Debian since 2018 -, the Debian project has taken robust action to secure its trademarks and interests world-wide.

In November 2023, following a legal action brought by Debian, the Tribunal Cantonal of the Canton of Vaud ruled that the registration of the DEBIAN mark in Switzerland by Open Source Developer Freedoms SA in liquidation (OSDF) – formerly Software Freedom Institute SA – was a misappropriation of the Debian trademark, as the latter is well known and established in the IT sector worldwide. No appeal was lodged against the judgment which is therefore final.

"By proceeding in this way, the defendant, who was aware of the existence of the disputed trade mark and its reputation, and who knew that the plaintiff was its owner, since its sole administrator was a Debian developer and a former member of the community of the same name, usurped the said trade mark and created confusion in the mind of the public."

The tribunal ordered that the Swiss trademark registration be transferred to the Debian project's trusted organisation, Software in the Public Interest (SPI) Inc., and the costs of the action paid by the defendant. OSDF was also ordered to publish the ruling on its website. Before the court's final ruling could be handed down, OSDF abruptly cancelled the registration and later entered into liquidation without notifying SPI and without paying the costs of the action. To date, Daniel Pocock has failed to comply with any of the court's orders and Debian has been forced to commence recovery action for its costs.

Leave a Comment