Re: Olympic Rings Symbol?

From: William J Poser (
Date: Sun Oct 19 2008 - 17:43:57 CDT

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    I doubt that there is an IP issue here. Any copyright the IOC may have
    must be on a particular rendering of the five rings. So long as the glyph
    used by others is not a copy of the IOC's rendering, there would be
    no copyright infringement.

    The thing that the IOC is mainly concerned about is trademark, but
    ownership of a mark only prevents others from using the mark for
    certain specific purposes, such as identifying their own products.
    "Microsoft", for example, is a trademark, but we are all free to
    use it as much as we like in talking about Microsoft. Its status
    as a mark only prevents us from naming our own products or companies
    "Microsoft". If for some reason Unicode were to wish to treat the
    word "Microsoft" as a compound character and assign it a codepoint,
    there would be no legal barrier to doing so. Microsoft's interests
    only enter the picture if someone uses that "character" to identify
    their own product or company, which would not be a concern of Unicode
    any more than it would be if someone were to use Unicode to write
    a threatening letter or a libellous publication.

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