[Standards-JIG] Public Federated Jabber Network

Chris Mullins chris.mullins at coversant.net
Thu May 18 21:41:35 UTC 2006

Hi Robert,
I'm familure with trademarks, the way they work, and what exactly the represent. 
The problem arises from the fact that there is a corporate entity called Jabber, a protocol often called Jabber, and a foundation called Jabber (and, as you propose, a Federated Network called Jabber). There are also a number of software projects called Jabber. All of these are effected by the trademarked that is owned by Jabber, Inc. All of these entities exist, to a very, very real degree, at the whim of the trademark holder. This trademark was supposed to be transferred to the JSF some time ago, but that never happended, and the expected outcry never happended. 
While many open-source folk take the issues of patents, tramemarks, copyrights, and other IP related issues lightly, the corporate world does not. The ongoing (and some may feel, very intentional) confusion over what exactly Jabber is an ongoing PR coup for the company that owns the trademark and profits from the name in an ongoing way.
This ongoing issue is certainly a very real reason there is so little corporate involvement in the JSF, even by the players (like me) who have a vested interest in the XMPP protocol. 
When I see new terms like "Federated Public Jabber Network", I can't help but laugh at how sucesfully the open-source community has been hoodwinked into providing free marketing material for the trademark holder. 
The term "Jabber" has alot of baggage and is best left behind by all save those who own the trademark.
> There is plenty of precedent for using the term "jabber":
> * Jabber Software Foundation
> * Jabber ID
> * All of the XMPP Namespaces start with "jabber:"
... all of which are subject to the continued good-will of Jabber Inc. A cease-and-desist letter could come at any time. Company such as Apple Computer, or Volkswagon, or any other entity who is diligant in protection of their IP would have come by now.
How long, I ask, do you think it would take a cease-and-desist letter to come should the JSF begin to get invovled in activites that Jabber Inc views are contrary to their interests? The fact they they hold this card, and all know the card for what it is, means those activities will never happen. 
Chris Mullins

From: standards-jig-bounces at jabber.org on behalf of Robert B Quattlebaum, Jr.
Sent: Thu 5/18/2006 2:20 PM
To: Jabber protocol discussion list
Subject: Re: [Standards-JIG] Public Federated Jabber Network

Er, Oops...

Not part three. Part two:
> 2. Why Jabber, Inc. (through Webb) Purchased the Trademark
> Jabber, Inc. had several reasons for purchasing the trademark:
> First, it wanted to ensure that instant messaging software based on 
> the Jabber protocols could legitimately use the JABBER name and not 
> infringe on existing intellectual property claims.
> Second, Jabber, Inc. wanted to make sure that anyone selling or 
> giving away Jabber software is actually using the Jabber open 
> source code, Jabber commercial software, or the Jabber protocols, 
> rather than providing products or services unrelated to the Jabber 
> protocols, but calling it "Jabber" in order to sell or distribute 
> more copies (this is called "Passing off"). Everyone in the Jabber 
> Community should share this goal, in order for the term JABBER to 
> maintain its distinctive meaning. If there were no trademark right 
> owned by anyone, Microsoft, for example, could develop a completely 
> unrelated IM or non-IM product and call it JABBER.
> Finally, at the time of purchasing the trademark, Jabber, Inc. 
> wanted to ensure that it would be the only IM-related company 
> called JABBER and that any other commercial or open-source entities 
> using JABBER in their name did so in a manner that was deemed good 
> for the Jabber Community and not detrimental to Jabber, Inc.

On May 18, 2006, at 2:17 PM, Robert B Quattlebaum, Jr. wrote:

> Hello Chris!
> On May 18, 2006, at 1:40 PM, Chris Mullins wrote:
>> Jabber is a term that is completly owned legally by Jabber, Inc. 
>> Continuing to leverage and use of this term is harmfull to the 
>> entire ecosystem of XMPP providers and develpers save one. To the 
>> best of my knowledge they have failed to turn over the related IP 
>> to the community, and as such that word should not (must not) be 
>> used.
> After reading http://www.jabber.org/trademark/background.shtml, I'm 
> not sure what the basis of your argument is. Specifically part three:
>> 3. What Does the Trademark Cover?
>> The Jabber trademark covers the use of the word "Jabber," when 
>> applied to the general category of computer software, including 
>> its use in product names and company names. Trademark rights are 
>> associated with specific goods and services, so that DELTA is a 
>> trademark owned by Delta Airlines for air travel services and is 
>> also a trademark owned by Delta Faucets for plumbing fixtures. 
>> Similarly, even if Jabber, Inc. owns a JABBER trademark in the 
>> area of computer software, Toyota could name its new car model 
>> JABBER. The standard is whether consumers would be confused and 
>> think that the products came from the same source. Software is so 
>> different from cars, that it is unlikely that a consumer would 
>> conclude that Toyota made the software, and vice versa.
> There is plenty of precedent for using the term "jabber":
> * Jabber Software Foundation
> * Jabber ID
> * All of the XMPP Namespaces start with "jabber:"
> __________________
> Robert Quattlebaum
> Mobile: +1(650)223-4974
> Jabber: darco at deepdarc.com
> eMail:  darco at deepdarc.com
> www:    http://www.deepdarc.com/

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: winmail.dat
Type: application/ms-tnef
Size: 9560 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://mail.jabber.org/pipermail/standards/attachments/20060518/3ece67bc/attachment.bin>

More information about the Standards mailing list