Fixstars Intellectual Property

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Fixstars Intellectual Property

Postby limbo » 27 Nov 2013, 06:44

Presumably when Fixstars acquired Terra Soft's assets, they acquired the Black Lab Linux branding, correct?

From Wikipedia:
Black Lab Linux was a free software, open-source Linux distribution for Power Architecture hardware. It was first released in 1999 for the Apple Macintosh as a product of Terra Soft Solutions, a Colorado (USA)-based software company specializing in Linux on the Power Architecture. Black Lab Linux was a variant of Yellow Dog Linux tailored both for embedded systems development and for high-performance, parallel computing. It focussed exclusively on the Apple PowerPC and IBM RS/6000 hardware platforms Black Lab Linux became an enhancement CD providing developer tools for Yellow Dog Linux customers, then was completely merged into Yellow Dog Linux.

I ask because there is now a Xubuntu-based distribution calling itself "Black Lab Linux", as seen at It's previous name was OS/4 OpenLinux (no relation to OS/2, AmigaOS 4, or Caldera OpenLinux), hence its current URL, but, based on what was said in their November podcast, they plan on changing their URL to to reflect the name change. The websites for Terra Soft's Black Lab Linux were and

This distribution's logo (as seen on its Facebook page – ) also bears some similarity to YDL's logo.
"Black Lab Linux": Image     YDL: Image

They even use the old Terra Soft Black Lab Linux logo Image on their SourceForge pages.

"Black Lab Linux" development screenshot:
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Re: Fixstars Intellectual Property

Postby rjdohnert » 29 Mar 2014, 21:33


I am the distributor for Black Lab Linux. We appreciate your concern for Fixstars intellectual property and I wanted to inform you that no, we have not violated Fixstars intellectual property. Back in 2008 we began using the name Black Lab Linux to describe our beta releases. Our legal department had acquired the name and rights to Black Lab Linux from Fixstars at that time since it was abandoned and they didnt use it anymore. We decided to commercialize it due to our OS/4 trademark application being protested against by IBM. We respect all intellectual property rights by all parties. We have submitted the name Black Lab Linux for trademark protection. We use XFCE vs enlightenment.

Thank you,

Roberto J. Dohnert
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