Google is not allowing third parties to use the now-famous Chrome comic book, the Chrome Logo, etc. On Sept. 24, site proprietor Troy Carly blogged that he had received an e-mail from Google Senior Trademark Counsel Terri Chen telling him he couldn’t use the snapshot of the Google Chrome comic, the Google Chrome icon and the Google Chrome logo. That same article indicates, “[t]aking what Carly said into consideration, he has a valid point. It seems evil to open-source something and place these types of restrictions around it, but the Creative Commons license does in fact afford Google and others certain protections.”
People fault Google for this position; however, open-source code does not mean free use of trademarks, logos and other copyrighted materials.
Is it not enough that Google offers open-source applications for everyone to enjoy? As compared to, say, Apple and its original restrictions on any app development for the iPhone. Google gives a lot away for free for our use. Surely, simply the domain name chromeplugins.com could well be perceived as being sponsored or endorsed by Google (yes, the very definition of trademark infringement). Google lets you work with its coding. In exchange, be respectful of the elements in which Google is asserting rights – even if the rights actually claimed by Google seem unclear at the moment.