The (Klingon) Empire Strikes Back

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Fri Nov 11 03:31:17 CST 2016

As Unicode will actually not encode the language itself, but just the
characters there's no problem at all in terms of IP, except for the
representative glyphs if they use the protected graphic designs.

Everything else is free, including the name that Unicode will choose for
designating the character names, or the single English term for designating
the script itself.

Then what will be challenging is not to support the script in software, but
render it with fonts. If people use the script to create their own texts in
this script, their text will be free, but it will not be possible to get it
rendered wit hthe protected glyph designs. But supporters will be inventive
and will create their own designs.

So the final thing which will be difficult for encoding the script will be
to produce a glyph chart in the standard and publish it under the Unicode
or ISO copyright. I assume that this chart will require approval by the IP
holder or some fair (but permanent) licencing to Unicode and ISO.

For other users of the standard, they are in a position equivalent to other
scripts, where charts are **also** protected by the copyright of the
standard and the rights attached to the fonts used and embedded in the PDF
documents: they cannot use the glyphs directly to derive their fonts. They
have to create and support fonts with their own designs.

Then whever the script will be used in texts conveying protected works in
the matching language, or for representing texts in unrelated languages
will have no importance :

The IP rights supposedly attached to the "language" are in the works
published and they must be significantly large enough and inventive to be
subject to a copyright, or a patent right, or to a "sui generi" database
right, or must have a valid registration in an applicable registry to be
subject to a trademark right. But even if these rights exist, they won't
cover the individual characters, and the Unicode character database or
standard (that will reference some elements related to the original work
covered by IP) are separate creations/inventions not covered by any earlier
rights: this is only a very small set of external references and if
Paramount claims that these references as infringing, they can be as well
removed: we don't really need direct references to Paramount (not even by
an URL or some other hypertext link).

If Paramount refuses to be cited, then it could just stop its own
activities, as no one will be able to talk and advertize their works that
will be unsellable... I doubt it will ever occur, however we should honor
the correct credits (fair and anyway required for any citations).
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