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From Henri Yandell <>
Subject Re: Trademakrs and logos. WAS beanutils commit msg...
Date Mon, 14 Mar 2011 03:21:34 GMT
On Sun, Mar 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM, Phil Steitz <> wrote:
> On 3/13/11 10:28 AM, Mark Thomas wrote:
>> On 13/03/2011 16:45, Phil Steitz wrote:
>>> On Mar 13, 2011, at 1:24 AM, Mark Thomas <> wrote:
>>>> On 12/03/2011 18:03, Phil Steitz wrote:
>>>>> On 3/12/11 10:41 AM, Mark Thomas wrote:
>>>>>> On 12/03/2011 15:52, Phil Steitz wrote:
>> <snip/>
>>>>>>> Please anyone else chime in with different opinions.  I want
to make
>>>>>>> sure I am not misrepresenting our views.
>>>>>> I think we would have difficulty claiming "Commons" as a trademark.
>>>>>> I think we should be claiming/protecting:
>>>>>> - Apache Commons
>>>>>> - Apache Commons Foo
>>>>>> - Commons Foo
>>>>> Why, exactly?
>>>> Because I don't want BigCorp to be able to create a product called
>>>> "Apache Commons Math". If we don't protect our marks then we have no way
>>>> of stopping abuse.
>>> Do you honestly think that the probability of that is distinguishable from 0
as a double?
>> For all Commons components, over their potential lifetime, yes I think
>> the probability is a lot closer to 1 than 0.
>>> Seriously, I have a hard time envisioning this, and an even harder time convincing
myself that we should be spending precious volunteer hours making changes throughout the commons
sites to mitigate this risk.  Especially when these changes may give the wrong impression
to some users / potential volunteers.
>> I don't see how claiming our trademarks can give the wrong impression.
> The impression that we are a commercial entity, or that we are
> representing the interests of other commercial entities.  Most
> people see trademarks as only meaningful in commercial settings.  We
> have a more sophisticated view @apache that views trademarks as
> meaningful outside of commercial use, or more precisely as limiting
> commercial use of the names.  My admittedly minority view is that
> aggressively "claiming marks" does not help our public image.
> I will shut up about this now and we can proceed with the changes,
> since this is consistent with ASF policy and we do not have
> consensus to challenge that policy.

It depends on component.

We should always claim "Apache Commons XYZ". Seems weak in terms of
energy given that we claim "Apache", but presumably there are good
reasons why "Apache Commons XYZ" gives us more value/power/something
than Apache on its own does.

For a unique name, for example, Sanselan, we should state our claim of:

  "Apache Commons Sanselan"
  "Commons Sanselan"

At least I'm assuming that trademarks@ will want to keep a name like
'Sanselan' as close to its chest as possible.

For a non-unique name, for example, Math, we should state our claim of:

  "Apache Commons Math".

[where claiming 'Math' is ludicrous, and claiming 'Commons Math' is
only a shade less ludicrous].

This does assume that we're not claiming 'Commons'. If we claim
'Commons', then 'Commons Math' is a direct follow-on; but claiming
'Commons' is against our aims imo.

On the technical side - we can't do this in a generic commons-build
way imo. We have to split our names into 'hug close' and 'ludicrous'
and do footers accordingly.


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