[Fontconfig] Aliases

John A. Boyd Jr. jaboydjr at netwalk.com
Fri Apr 2 06:11:52 EST 2004

Keith Packard wrote:
> Around 3 o'clock on Apr 1, Enrique Perez-Terron wrote:
>>As far as I understood this issue, it started out with a request to be
>>able to list the font names that an application can "ask for" without
>>being turned down.
> No.  That capability is already very well supported.  That let's people 
> say "if an application asks for 'Times', please use 'Timmons'", it does 
> this in a way which doesn't expose 'Times' in the list of fonts that 
> applications place in menus, which allows people to avoid trademark 
> problems.
> If an application says "I have the Times font available" when it really
> means "I have a font that looks just like Times available", that represents
> a clear trademark infrigement.
I don't think it necessarily avoids trademark problems; to the contrary,
it might invite them.

Both statements ("I have the Times font available" and "I have a font
that looks just like the Times available") could be trademark
infringements, the second possibly moreso because it compares solely
on the basis of the owned identification and not on any more explicitly 
descriptive association (e.g., "I have an upright serifed Latin font
available.").  Both could thus be seen to be trading on and/or diluting
the owned identification.  "Timmons" as a substitute for "Times" might
have the same problem, if it is used as "advertisement" which relies on
its similarity to "Times" in a non-functional, non-descriptive way.

Again, I believe it is prudent to base substitute identification on
descriptive semantic keywords (or, what I would call "abstractions"
instead of "aliases", inasmuch as they convey semantically descriptive
content and are not just symbolicallly associative) instead of just
other identifications, which may be owned intellectual property in the
usage context at hand.

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