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From Ben Laurie <>
Subject Re: Now what?
Date Thu, 05 Sep 2002 13:00:29 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> Dirk-Willem van Gulik wrote:
>>On Wed, 4 Sep 2002, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>>Make sure you let your PMC or the board know if you want to take some
>>action; for example such as the ASF sending Sony a kind letter that the
>>name Cocoon is already in certain use.
> Ok, maybe "now what?" wasn't exactly explaining my thoughts about this,
> so I'll explain my thoughts in more details.
> First of all, "Sony CoCoon" (an acronym for "COnnected COmmunity On
> Network") is a TIVO-like networked hard-disk based video recorder.
> Google "Sony CoCoon" to know more.
> Now. Cocoon is a common name. Besides, I already stole it from Ron
> Howard's movie and, to be honest, there *is* prior art in software for
> something called 'Cocoon' which is a javadoc-like tool.
> At some point, I received a "ehm, you stole my software name" from a
> nice guy that was, at least, asking for us to differentiate. The result
> of that action was that the project was officially named "Apache
> Cocoon", the xml doclet code we hosted moved to jakarta-alexandria (and
> died, but that's not another issue). We never received any other letter
> from the guy and I don't know the status of its project.
> What worries me most, to be entirely honest, is the fact that 'Sony
> Cocoon' is linux based. Admittedly a name collision is going to be
> extremely rare: who would want to run an 'apache cocoon' inside a 'sony
> cocoon' box? But you never know: it has a huge hard disk, it's
> networked, it runs linux, it runs a pretty decent MIPS processor and
> might be right perfect for a server farm of video streaming with an XML
> publishing engine (can you say SMIL?)
> Like many people suggested, doing nothing and sitting there relaxing is
> an option and a valid one. I agree.
> However, do you think that Sony would have let us go away with "Apache
> PlayStation" if we had one? What if they start selling millions of "sony
> cocoon"s?
> So I'm asking the PMC to take a reasonable action to protect our brand
> "Apache Cocoon" in a way that would not make it possible for Sony (or
> anybody) to make us 'cease and desist' to use our name.

As I understand it, the use would only be infringing if it was a similar 
product, which it isn't. Also, incidentally, as I understand it, you 
can't trademark a word that means something (isn't this why Jurassic 
Park was a merchandising cockup?).




"There is no limit to what a man can do or how far he can go if he
doesn't mind who gets the credit." - Robert Woodruff

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