[Foundation] Jabber Name - Real World Example

Mathew Johnston johnston at megaepic.com
Wed May 16 21:49:14 CDT 2001

First, I'm not affiliated with Jabber.com.

First, some history. A company that did some sort of voice software had a
trademark on the word Jabber (or something involving that word). They
threatened Jer with a cease and desist when he started using the word
Jabber to describe his new XML based protocol that would be used for IM and
more. Jer had already used the name a fair bit and the Jabber protocol that
he had started became more popular. He didn't have money to fight in court
with or buy the trademark from the other company. Jabber.com, however, did.
So, they bought the trademark.

Right now, Jabber.com controls the trademark. The trademark gives Jabber.com
an advantage over other companies who are involved in Jabber, becauase they
can use the trademark in their brand name, and others can't. They did pay for
the trademark and because it gives them an advantage, they neither want to
give up their advantage, or their investment. They did pay for the trademark
and they were the first one to be able to afford it, so maybe they're entitled
to a little greed.

Either way, it's jabber.com's position that they're willing to let the
foundation decide who gets to say "powered by jabber" (or something similar)
but they're not going to let any commercial company use the word Jabber in
a product or company name.

It's obviously not as good for the community as if Jabber.com were to give
ownership of the trademark to the community; however, it IS better for
Jabber.com to retain ownership of the trademark than to give it up.

There is a possible exception for free/not-for-profit projects... it may
be possible for such projects to have the word jabber in them. So, maybe
your free client can be called JabberToons (it would be up to the foundation)
but if you were to sell it, you'd have to call what you sold something else,
without the word Jabber in it.

Mathew Johnston

On Wed, May 16, 2001 at 07:04:08PM -0700, Mark Zamoyta wrote:
> Hello,
> I attended the Foundation conference today as tristram1.  I'm particularly
> interested in the discussion of using the word "Jabber" in my company's
> product name.
> I registered the domain name "JabberToons.com" around the time Jabber.com
> was first created - I had been following Jabber before that.  I intended
> "Jabber Toons" to be an animated IM client where users become cartoon
> characters.  However, Jabber.Com got wind of what I was doing and demanded I
> change the name, leaving out "Jabber".  I released an early version of this
> client named "Cartoon Messenger", but I'd rather use "Jabber Toons" for
> future releases.  The Jabber brand in a product name goes a long way.
> What do I have to do to use "Jabber Toons" ?  It's a free client for anyone
> to use, however I would like to commercially brand it and license it to
> other companies if possible, somewhat like j.c. does with JabberIM.
> I think Jabber Toons could be a great thing for the Jabber Community - it
> shows an animated aspect of IM that hasn't been done before and could
> attract alot of attention to Jabber.  I think the Jabber Foundation should
> decide whether I can use the name "Jabber Toons" based upon the client's
> features, stability, and my company's involvment in the Jabber Community.
> I don't think it's right for an open project to let one corporation benefit
> from the Jabber brand name and deny all other corporations its use,
> especially if the other corporations contribute to the Jabber Community.
> Lets let the Jabber Foundation be in complete control of the Jabber brand,
> rather than a single for-profit company.
> Mark Zamoyta
> www.zamoytatech.com
> www.airstrategy.com
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