I'm getting this info from here: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/programs ... demark/faq and here: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/programs ... cense-more
You need to apply for a sublicense if you are using the term “Linux” as part of your own trademark or brand identifier for Linux-based software goods or services. It doesn’t matter if your trademark is unregistered, or if you do not plan to make any money using the mark.
Examples of use requireing a sublicense.
1. Is my mark a trademark (see how we define “trademark,” below)?
2. Does my mark contain the following string of adjacent letters, in this order: “Linux”? These letters may or may not be capitalized, and in the case of foreign characters, phonetic translations also apply.
3. Do I use my mark to identify software-related goods orservices (see how that phrase is defined, below)?
Even if your use of the Linux trademark doesn't fall under the scope of the Linux Sublicense Agreement, you should still attribute ownership of the mark to Linus Torvalds in two ways:
For each web page, advertisement, or publication, the first prominent appearance of LINUX should feature the "circle R" character adjacent to the X, as follows:
At the end of your web page, advertisement, publication or media broadcast, include the following text in a legible font and size:
Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.
Examples of Use Requiring A Sublicense.
If you plan to market a Linux-based product or service to the public using a trademark that includes the element "Linux," such as "Super Dooper Linux" or "Real Time Linux Consultants" you are required to apply for and obtain a sublicense from LMI. This is true whether or not you apply to register your trademark with a government.
To me it would seem that Linix Mint is indeed a trademark and is being used in such a manner as to require a sub licence and also require the use of the trademark symbol next to the word Linux on Mint's homepage as well as attribution to Linus Torvalds at the bottom of the homepage. It looks like it would be the same as the above " Super Dooper Linux" - Why doesn't Mint use these things?
I ask because i have been reading about rolling your own distro using the Ubuntu Builder and other such tools. I don't believe for one minute that Mint is skirting the law, I'm sure you guys did your homework, but I'm just trying to understand why this does not apply to distros like Mint when it looks like it should.