[Foundation] Foundation TM Again

Michael Bauer bauer at jabber.com
Wed May 23 11:36:11 CDT 2001


No matter who owns the mark, a detailed trademark policy is required. I
thought Sun's looked like a good example.  It talks directly about how to
use a derivative mark.  It could've been Intel for "Intel Inside" or the
California Association of Egg Producers for "California Eggs" for that
matter.  I didn't want to give the appearance that Jabber.com was asserting
that it invented Jabber and as such was entitled to all things Jabber like
Sun is to Java.  Apparently, I failed.  Sorry.  Didn't mean to give that
impression.  Forgive me.

Jabber.com is not asserting a blanket deal over the entire Jabber namespace.
It would be pretty stupid for j.c. to say that j.o. can't use it's domain
name anymore!  Jabber.com is not even trying to prevent direct competitors
from using Jabber.  Using the "Jabber Inside" description and the "Jab"
prefix for product or company names that are adminstered by the Foundation
is not something that a lot of other companies would be OK with.  

Again, no matter who owns the mark, the problem is that the law requires
that there isn't willy-nilly naming of other companies or products with the
trademark in the name.  Even if there was an ownership transfer Jabber.com
would require this caveat.  Now, other companies could be licensed to use
the name in a company or product name but Jabber.com would reserve that
privilege as well even if there was a transfer.  That's what we originally
discussed in the ownership transfer and what is still being considered.
Considering the transfer stings enough as it is :)

One alternative mentioned in another thread was that Jabber.com should
change it's name!  Talk about sting :).  Frankly, this has been considered
as well but j.c. has made a significant investment in the name; they would
argue that investment has really benefited the community as well (like
magazine articles that have been setup by the j.c. pr firm).  So, this is
kind of tough but the thinking might be that eventually no one uses the name
in commercial product or company names, kind of like the restriction Apache
puts on things.

I'm enjoying this discussion in a certain way too.  I can more than
understand how this makes people upset.  I'm doing my best not take take any
of this personally, so feel free to say what you want.  I'm a Jabber.com
employee but if you've noticed, I'm trying very hard to speak of Jabber.com
in a third person and act on behalf of the Jabber Foundation as ethics
demand.  

At any rate, I think that's where Jabber.com stands right now.  Even if
there is a transfer of ownership the full restrictions would have to apply
to naming product or company names.  While it might not appear to be the
case on the surface, they have worked with other companies and have worked
out names with the Jab prefix in them.  If they don't transfer ownership,
they fully believe that a perpetual license does exactly what the community
wants in guaranteeing continued use of Jabber in an appropriate form.  In
parallel, we have to tighten up on what appropriate means.

So, is this going to work and can we move on?  Yes?  Maybe?  Please?



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