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From Alex Karasulu <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Directory project releases
Date Fri, 31 Dec 2004 03:28:01 GMT
Roy T. Fielding wrote:

> On Dec 27, 2004, at 8:16 PM, Alex Karasulu wrote:
>> Before discussing each specific item below I'd like to point out a 
>> few things.  The ASF had through the incubator given us a link to an 
>> online service for looking up trademarks.  We were told this service 
>> should be used to determine if there were any infringements with 
>> project names.  I personally used the service for two of the names 
>> cited in the items below.
> We normally start with that and also do a Google search.

Yep Google seems to be a better source than the U.S. PTO these days.

>> According to the ASF the existance of any trademark alone was not an 
>> issue.  For there to be an infringement the trademark would have to 
>> fall within the same field and domain where the names also match 
>> exactly.  In the case of the Eve Directory Server for example, the 
>> presence of a trademark for "Eve Online", an online game would not be 
>> an infringement.  I understand your concern but this is not the same 
>> name. BTW note that "Eve Online" did not exist in 2002 when we first 
>> started using the name Eve Directory Server for this project.
> Apparently, the same company has a trademark on "EVE" in Europe and 
> they have
> already used it to force a hardware company in the UK to rename their 
> product.
> Here is their Icelandic registration
I guess you don't speak Icelandic but it does not take much to interpret 
this as a TM filiing.  The English button does not seem to work at 
getting a translation of this record.  I gathered it was the same 
company mostly from the logo.  Damn!  Depressing as it is we have to 
change the name.

>> From the language and terms on the incubator site I was completely 
>> under the impression that this kind of name use would not present any 
>> legal issues.
> Goal #1 is "do the right thing".  Goal #2 is "protect our assets".

Absolutely!  No one is trying to do the wrong thing obviously.  It's a 
matter of being informed.

>>>   1) Has Matt Walsh approved transfer of the SEDA name?  Is that 
>>> library
>>>      a direct descendant of <>, in
>>>      which case the version numbering should be 4.0, or does it 
>>> merely  use
>>>      his architecture (in which case it is wrong to use the name)?
>> No there is no relation between our seda package and the SEDA project 
>> on Sourceforge.  We just named this thing, seda because we had no 
>> name for it at the time.  SEDA is what it is as far as the 
>> architecture used.  It's like naming a cat, cat.  I think the SEDA 
>> project on Sourceforge actually calls the respective code with the 
>> same fuction Sandstorm.  SEDA is an acronym used for Staged Event 
>> Driven Architecture as you probably already know.  It was part of 
>> Matt Welsh's doctoral thesis and hence the name and the technology is 
>> not something that can hold a trademark.  At least this is my 
>> understanding - perhaps this can be clarified by legal.
> Sorry, software products are not named "product" -- they are given 
> names to
> distinguish them from other software.  We do not use other people's 
> existing
> names without their permission because it would confuse everyone, 
> including me.
> [We learned that the hard way with httpd, even though we had permission.]
> Matt's toolkit may be code-named Sandstorm, but it is distributed as 
> seda on
> Sourceforge.  You should name it something like "sedakit" (which 
> probably means
> something in another language) or "apseda" (which may be Latin, for 
> all I know).

We can call it that fine: apseda it is.

>> Furthermore the concept of Threads for example was invented by some 
>> OS manufacturer but there are threads implementations all over like 
>> pthreads.  When does it become an infringement?  If we call a SEDA 
>> implementation seda?  See what I mean? Its kind of nebulous here.  
>> I'd like some clarification myself. Regardless I'm totally fine with 
>> changing the name here.
> I doubt that Matt trademarked the name -- we should simply "do the 
> right thing"
> and avoid confusion.

Yes I will rename it apseda right away.  I don't think people at 
Directory care anymore what things are to be called.  If anyone objects 
to the name let me know.  I will begin renaming this and Eve.  For Eve I 
think we can just call it the Apache Directory server and be done with 
it as well.


>> Snickers is an ASN.1 software library which is a Snacc4J 
>> replacement.  It's obviously not a candy bar.  Do they really have 
>> the right to enforce a Cease and Desist?  This is definately 
>> trademarked by MARS as you say no doubt about that.  We need to 
>> rename this as well but just for clarification how do companies like 
>> this get away with it?
> They don't need the "right" -- they merely need to avoid a countersuit 
> for
> obstruction.  Because it is a well-established mark and that mark is 
> used on the
> Internet, they can reasonably constrain use of it on websites.  Since the
> name is being used because the real Snickers is a snack, we are 
> actually using
> the trademarked name (not just any name) and we would lose.

Yep no arguments here I changed the name but just had to ask.  You have 
to admit it was cute and we were having fun with it and the play on 
snacc4j.  But this is not what we are about - we shall just focus on the 
substance from now on.

> In general, a good rule of thumb is to walk gingerly around companies who
> employ teams of lawyers for the purpose of protecting their marks.  It 
> simply
> doesn't matter why we *might* win such a suit, since the suit alone 
> would be
> enough to bury our little foundation in debt.

Of course Roy you are absolutely right. 

>>>   5) Kerberos is a trademark of MIT.  We cannot legally distribute  
>>> software
>>>      under that name.
>> No trademark is registered with Kerberos as far as I can see.  Also 
>> looks like Enrique performed some similar searches and found:
>> "The USPTO Trademark Electronic Search System shows efforts by MIT to 
>> trademark Kerberos in the early 90's were abandoned.  Published 
>> articles up until the late 90's may claim a trademark by MIT, but 
>> this is not the case. "
> Okay, sorry that I didn't see the abandoned bit.  Once the STATUS file 
> is updated
> (be sure to update the table entries for the IP stuff), I have no 
> objection to
> releasing the non-trademarked name products.


Overall we will respond to this advice immediately, to apply it and 
forge ahead.  Thanks for your dilligence on these matters.  If we do not 
confront them now it will only get uglier down the road.  As for now 
could you please take the time to reassess the second vote for the 
release of naming, asn1 (formerly known as Snickers) and the ldap-common 
library?  I think we have responded well to your recommendations for 
these items.


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