[aprssig] Open Source/Commercial Use acceptable APRS Alternative?

Greg Troxel gdt at lexort.com
Mon Aug 7 08:19:46 EDT 2023

Steve Stroh <steve.stroh at gmail.com> writes:

> The word / phrase APRS / Automatic Packet Reporting System was a trademark
> of the late Robert Bruninga. Thus that word / phrase cannot be used for
> commercial purposes except under license. I’d guess there is a carve-out
> for Amateur Radio use.


Trademark law is more subtle than that.  A trademark cannot be used to
market products without a license (in the same field of use).  If
someone has things that implement APRS, and uses it for whatever, there
is no problem describing it.  What is restricted is selling something
and claiming it *is* APRS.  Generally, selling something and saing that
it is "compatible with APRS" is not an issue.  The point of trademark
law is that the purchaser should be led to believe that they are buying
something from the original marketer when they are not.

Trademarks for protocols are an interesting question.   I would expect
that mostly prohibits distribuing copies of a different specification
and calling it APRS.

But this is really not the issue with the OP's question.

73 de n1dam

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