epub_logo_color.jpgThe official ePUB logo has been announced. According to their web page the IDPF received 203 entries from 18 different countries, and the contest was won by Ralph Burkhardt from Stuttgart, Germany.

You can find more details here.

Of course, as a lawyer who has had a fair amount to do with trademarks and intellectual property, I can tell you that this is a fairly meaningless exercise. Unless the IDPF decides to enforce a set of standards on people using ePUB, and then only license those who follow the standard, and then police the standard, the logo has no teeth at all. For example, look at the situation with incompatible modes of DRM using the ePUB name, or the fact that the IDPF pretty much said that they won’t enforce standards on the software that goes into ebook readers. Unless they do these things one “form” of ePUB will continue to be incompatible with another “form” of ePUB or one reader will be able to read ePUB and another will carry the ePUB logo but not be able to read it completely.

As a matter of fact, unless they do enforce such standards – since ePUB is a standards based thing – they may very well end up diluting the mark and losing it completely.

I just noticed something. They are calling it a “logo” on their site, not a trademark. Maybe they don’t intend to trademark it at all. If that’s the case then it becomes even weaker.