To: Larry Masinter <masinter(_at_)parc(_dot_)xerox(_dot_)com>
Cc: Vint Cerf <vcerf(_at_)cnri(_dot_)reston(_dot_)va(_dot_)us>,
Subject: MIME use of PostScript trademark
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 1993 16:33:41 -0800
From: Ed Taft <taft(_at_)mv(_dot_)us(_dot_)adobe(_dot_)com>
Larry (and Vint):
I received a response from Adobe's legal department regarding use of
the PostScript trademark in the MIME specification and in MIME
documents. The person who sent the response has limited understanding
of the technology involved, so I am taking the liberty of paraphrasing
his response in terms likely to be useful to a technical audience.
Adobe uses the PostScript trademark in two ways: (1) to refer to the
PostScript language as defined by Adobe Systems; (2) as a product
trademark for Adobe Systems' implementation of a PostScript language
interpreter. Adobe gives permission for anyone to use the PostScript
language for purpose (1), as discussed in section 1.4 of the
PostScript Language Reference Manual, second edition.
Use of the PostScript trademark to identify the content of a MIME
document is acceptable if the following conditions are met:
1. The content actually does consist of material written in the
PostScript language as defined by Adobe Systems. We consider the
integrity of the PostScript language to be extremely important. We
won't tolerate use of the PostScript trademark to identify content
that deviates from the PostScript language definition.
2. The PostScript trademark is used only to identify the language in
which the content is written, i.e., the "PostScript language". It must
not be used to designate product(s) that generate or consume the
content (unless those products are licensed from Adobe Systems).
3. The first use of the PostScript trademark in any context (the MIME
specification or any MIME document) must be accompanied by the
following statement: "PostScript is a trademark of Adobe Systems
Incorporated which is registered in certain jurisdictions." Presumably,
this can appear as a comment in a MIME document.
This is the most official statement you will receive from me. I hope
you find it to be adequate, but if not I will have to refer you to
Adobe's legal counsel.
Here is my opinion regarding the question of having distinct content
identifiers for PostScript Level 1 and Level 2. The purpose of
identifying the language level explicitly is to allow the receiving
agent, if possible, to select an interpreter with the appropriate
capabilities. Ideally, it should be able to determine this without
examining the content itself.
In the absence of distinct content identifiers, two other approaches
1. The content can include a %%LanguageLevel comment (see p. 644 of
the red book), and the receiving agent can scan the content for this.
Document structuring comments are considered optional, but I suppose
MIME could mandate them.
2. The content can be required to conform to one of the compatibility
strategies documented in Appendix D, pp. 581-9, making it compatible
with any interpreter. This precludes use of Level 2 features that are
impractical to emulate in Level 1, such as CIE-based color spaces.