Penrose Trademark Lawsuit Filed

A complaint was filed against Red Hat in the Northern District of California on May 6, 2011, alleging various claims, including a request to cancel a trademark registration.

According to the complaint, the facts are as follows.  Alex Karasulu, founder of the Apache Directory Server Project, set up a domain at http://www.safehaus.org to provide an ecosystem for open source software components related to directory and security infrastructure.  Karasulu was approached by Jim Yang about the development of open source virtual directory software and Karasulu offered to develop the software as a project for Safehaus.  Karasulu used the name “Penrose”  for the virtual directory software project.  The initial version of the Penrose software was released on May 23, 2005. 

On March 13, 2008, Yang filed an application to register the trademark Penrose for software through a company he owned called Identyx, Inc. Yang subsequently sold Indentyx to Red Hat.  The complaint alleges that in the trademark application, Yang misrepresented the facts underlying the first use of the mark and failed to acknowledge prior use and ownership by Safehaus, and that Red Hat knew statements made in the trademark application by Identyx were false because of information received by Red Hat in the due diligence process for the acquisition

Based on the above allegations, the complaint alleges various claims and asks the court to declare the trademark registration invalid.