[Foundation] Jabber (tm)

Peter Saint-Andre stpeter at jabber.org
Thu May 17 17:02:15 CDT 2001


Hi Jer,

This proposal makes a lot of sense to me.  I don't know if there are 
unknown legal thickets involved, though....

BTW, I just looked up "Oquirrh Technologies" (how does one even begin to 
pronounce that?!?!) and Google turned up nothing. I guess their software 
never took off, unless they were acquired by a larger company.

Peter

Jeremie wrote:

> /me chimes in :)
> 
> On Wed, 16 May 2001, Mathew Johnston wrote:
> 
>>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.
>>
> 
> Just to clarify things a bit, the original company was Oquirrh
> Technologies Inc. from NY.  They had the domain jabber.com and a trademark
> on jabber for "computer software for reducing the number of bits required
> to transmit speech" and some java classes that did such voice compression.
> I never received a cease and desist, and IANAL, but I'm not sure how
> applicable it would have been given the specific usage of the trademark by
> Oquirrh.  Essentially, Jabber.com came into existence by purchasing the
> domain and trademark from Oquirrh, and has since then filed their own
> trademark on jabber for "Software for real-time communications over a
> global computer network."
> 
> On Thu, 17 May 2001, Thomas Charron wrote:
> 
>>    Jabber.com may not be ABLE to do this.  Rememeber, trademarks have
>>monatary value.  They are a publically held company.  Start giving stuff
>>away, and you quickly find yourself in the midst of lawsuites by
>>shareholders.  'Specially when dealing with smaller companies who are in
>>tough spots right now..
>>
> 
> Another clarification, Jabber.com is not a publicly held company, they
> are private, but largely owned by a public company (WEBB).
> 
> My thought yesterday was, would it be acceptable for Jabber.com to assign
> the trademark to the foundation, and in turn the foundation would license
> the commercial use of the name "jabber" as used by Jabber.com in it's
> domain and product names?  The reasoning behind this is that Jabber.com
> has said that they have not and do not plan on using the trademark as a
> direct source of income, so the discussion around the immediate financial
> value of the trademark to jabber.com doesn't make as much sense.  
> Instead, they want to ensure the brand and quality, and be able to
> distinguish their products uniquely in the marketplace as representing
> that brand and quality.  They were the first entity to seriously pursue
> offering commercial services around Jabber and have definitely benefited
> the community by creating those offerings for other businesses. In
> addition they have been honest in their support of the community and being
> an open participant and not trying to direct or control it.
> 
> So, as far as I currently understand the situation, with a transfer and
> commercial use license exchange, Jabber.com can see their vision of proper
> brand and quality management happen through the foundation, as well as
> retain the commercial value that they have worked hard for and deserve by
> using Jabber in their product names.  This is the highest level of
> protection for the community as well, and will allow the name "jabber" to
> co-exist peacefully in the various usages as a protocol, open source
> software, and product names.
> 
> I guess the next step is to see if it's something that Jabber.com would
> find acceptible or if there were additional facets to the problem not
> taken into account.  There's quite a bit of work to be done on many
> fronts, so I hope we can work through this quickly and get back to the
> problems of growing the community and making things work better :)
> 
> Jer
> 
> 
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-- 
Peter Saint-Andre
stpeter at jabber.org




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