[Foundation] Clarifications On Name Change Proposal

Iain shigeoka iain at shigeoka.com
Tue Jul 1 16:48:10 CDT 2003


On Tuesday, Jul 1, 2003, at 13:51 US/Pacific, Dave Smith wrote:

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> On Tuesday, Jul 1, 2003, at 14:16 America/Denver, Matt Tucker wrote:
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>> We've registered a trademark ourselves for around $1K. If you go to 
>> various websites, that's about the standard fee that people quote. 
>> Further, I'm still not sure that we'll even want to trademark the new 
>> org name. It's probably a a job for the team to evaluate the 
>> pro's/con's.
>
> Fair enough, once you have discovered the name it is a fixed cost to 
> trademark it. I would note, however, that there are also costs 
> associated with updating product literature and domain names -- can 
> you provide some insight into those line item costs?

Agreed. Currently there is not much cost associated with these issues 
because the JSF doesn't have much in the way of 'hard assets'. Our own 
patron saint doesn't even have JSF business cards. The largest resource 
I'm aware of that would be lost in a name change are the materials 
being developed for OSCON (something that is being produced as we 
speak). However, much of those resources are either planned to be 
expended during OSCON (whitepapers, etc), or are reusable with minimal 
waste of the name changes (e.g. the skyline booth posters).

The highest single cost, non-OSCON, outlay I'm aware of is heg's 
purhase of JSF t-shirts for fundraising. He has kept the purchase small 
knowing that the name may change.

>> Yeah, unfortunately for Jabber Inc. they had decided on a name, 
>> Jabber, and *then* had to do whatever it took to acquire it. That's a 
>> pretty different process than the normal one, which is to choose a 
>> name that's not already being used. I find it pretty unlikely that 
>> the name team would recommend a name that would cost us tens of 
>> thousands to acquire.
>
> So the name team is going to do the necessary legal research to ensure 
> the name is not in use? Also, what about international trademarks -- 
> is that beyond the scope of this team/time?

Yes. That would be the responsibility of the name team. i do think that 
a standard service search (part of the *mark services MT mentioned) 
will be sufficient for our needs. If we were Disney looking to make 
megabucks off a heavily branded product, then it makes sense to spend a 
lot of money and time making absolutely sure a name is clean and 
defensible. For a small, low budget, non-profit I think spending 
anything over a few hundred dollars is a waste of money. The exact 
cost-benefit analysis on how much to spend is also something the name 
team should investigate, present, and get consensus on - but i really 
think the cost of selecting a name is controllable (ask any small 
business entrepreneur). :)

-iain

> Thanks,
>
> D.
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