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Since *you* are a lawyer and an intellectual property specialist,
would there be any chance that *you* could maybe check the copyright
status out for us?

Copyright status is not really the one to be worrying about, at least
not IMHO. Copyright protection is not ubiquitous, contrary to popular
belief. It depends on lots of different things, i.e. whether the
territory in which copyright is to be enforced or recognised actually
recognises the right as such, whether or not registration is required,
whether or not the territory has signed up to international copyright
conventions, the nature and physical reality of the creator or its
assignee, and above all, whether the work for which protection is sought
or claimed is "original", or "new" or "distinctive" or "derived from
other works" or "bears the imprint of its creator", these latter
expressions being particular to a given territory and its accompanying
legal system. So there is no easy answer to give when determining
copyright status, since it is highly dependent on national legislation
and jurisprudence.

Trademark law has similar constraints of course, but is generally the
object of internationally and mutually recognised treaties, and "easier"
to apply, since the right either exists (as in has been filed for as a
trademark registration) or doesn't. Rights acquired through use are on
the whole only now of importance in the US, where usage in state
commerce on the one hand, and federal trademark registrations on the
other, rely on different laws to be applicable (the first being state
legislation, and the second being federal legislation). The main
advantage of trademark law is that using it is relatively swift and easy
for a trademark holder, including obtaining injunctive relief and
summary judgments, because it relies on a filing, the limits of which
are fairly easy to determine.

It is not for nothing that Sun had a legal department to deal with these
issues (both copyright and trademarks) :-))

So, rather than looking at copyright, it would be better to trawl
through the national trademark registries, where available, and see if
anything covering the activities intended by LibreOffice has been filed
as a stylised airplane. Graphical trademark searches are often
notoriously difficult to carry out, even when they are possible (not all
countries have databases, and many of them do not include graphical
representations of logos or logotypes.


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