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From Shane Curcuru <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Propose Howl as an Apache Incubator project
Date Wed, 16 Feb 2011 13:31:55 GMT
At first glance, I don't see a serious risk of conflict with the 
proposed Apache Howl podling and the pre-existing OW2 HOWL project.

First and most importantly, the two software products sound quite 
different.  I'm presuming this is correct, and that any relevant 
consumer using HOWL to review their server's logs wouldn't be confused 
by the new release of Howl.  If there *is* a conflict with some other 
software product that *is* similar in functionality to what Apache Howl 
would be, then it would be a problem.

Separately, OW2's HOWL doesn't seem to be actively maintained, meaning 
it's less likely anyone would confuse the two software products.  Less 
importantly is the point that they call it "HOWL", and we would 
presumably call our future product "Apache Howl".

Note that this does not mean there aren't potential trademark issues 
from the legal perspective.  Using many English words as a product name 
is likely to be using someone's software trademark somewhere.  But in 
terms of our risk management, it's most important if the use is for a 
similar kind of software, or something that would otherwise lead to 
consumer confusion.  Plus, a key way we differentiate Apache projects is 
by ensuring their primary branding includes the word "Apache".  8-)

If the IPMC or the potential podling have further trademark related 
questions, please email the trademarks@ (privately archived) mailing 
list for further advice.

Personally, I don't see how "Howl" applies to big data projects, but, 
hey, my opinion doesn't matter there, and I do like the sound of it.

And thanks for thinking about the branding up front!

- Shane Curcuru
   VP, Brand Management, The Apache Software Foundation

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