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Renewal of STAR File trademark registration

  • To: comcifs@iucr.org
  • Subject: Renewal of STAR File trademark registration
  • From: Brian McMahon <bm@iucr.org>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2020 11:17:48 +0100
Dear All

The IUCr Executive Secretary has received a renewal notice for
the registered trademark "STAR File" that expires at the end of
the year. There is a cost involved and the Executive Secretary
has queried whether we still want to protect this trademark.

The trademark was registered in 2001 with the UK Intellectual
Property Office as an outcome of the COMCIFS discussions in
2000 that led to the policy statement on the CIF website

That statement includes the following paragraph:

      Protection of the standards
      To protect the STAR File and the CIF as standards for interchanging
      and archiving electronic data, the IUCr, on behalf of the
      scientific community,

        * holds the copyrights on the standards themselves,
        * owns the associated trademarks and service marks, and
        * holds a patent on the STAR File.

      These intellectual property rights relate solely to the interchange
      formats, not to the data contained therein, nor to the software
      used in the generation, access or manipulation of the data.

Note that the STAR File patent has now expired in the sole jurisdiction
where it was filed (the UK), so the statement should now be revised at
least to reflect that fact.

So far as we can ascertain, the only active trademark registration is
that for "STAR File", but I shall can the Executive Secretary to review
paper files for 2001 when he returns to the office. According to my
notes, "STAR File" was used as a test case but ran into some
measure of difficult as predicted by Nick Spadaccini in

Obviously the difficulties were overcome in this case, but I
don't know if the then Executive Secretary pursued other registration
attempts (e.g. for "CIF").

I invite comment.


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