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From Ralph Goers <ralph.go...@dslextreme.com>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Accept Wave for incubation
Date Fri, 26 Nov 2010 16:35:50 GMT

On Nov 26, 2010, at 7:05 AM, Joe Schaefer wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----
> 
>> From: Tad Glines <tad.glines@gmail.com>
>> To: general@incubator.apache.org
>> Sent: Fri, November 26, 2010 9:47:33 AM
>> Subject: Re: [PROPOSAL] Accept Wave for incubation
>> 
>> The  word "Wave" is far more generic than "TrafficServer", "Lucene"  or
>> "Hadoop".
>> When I did a search through the trademark database I found 62  trademarks on
>> the word "wave". There are others that contain the word wave  one of which is
>> Google's "Google Wave" trademark. While I am neither a lawyer  nor a
>> trademark expert, it seems logical to conclude that given the many  "Wave"
>> trademarks and the fact that Google was granted a "Google Wave"  trademark
>> that Apache would have no problem obtaining a trademark on "Apache  Wave" if
>> they wished to.
>> 
>> I think it's also fairly safe to conclude  that Google is never going to
>> assign a trademark with the word "Google" in it  to another entity.
>> 
>> If Google had a trademark on the plain word "Wave" in  the
>> communication/collaboration space, then I would expect that to be a  problem.
>> But, since they don't, I don't think this is an  issue.
>> 
>> Perhaps Google could issue some sort of official "We promise not  to sue
>> Apache Foundation over the use of the name 'Apache Wave'" just to  make
>> everyone happy.
> 
> Welcome to the Incubator.  Yes trademarks are taken seriously, and yes
> you've made some good points that the situation with "Wave" is relatively
> unique.  While these sorts of discussions can be frustrating and annoying
> at times, everyone here at Apache is basically just trying to be fair to
> both all ASF projects and past incubation efforts, and somewhat consistent in
> what we tell others about Incubation.  Different people have different 
> perspectives and they are able to openly disagree without disrupting progress.
> Happens all the time here.
> 
> FWIW I can easily foresee the Incubator accepting this proposal as written
> and kicking around the trademark issue for a while longer post acceptance.
> This is just how we work.  Personally I'd be fine with an Apache Wave project
> graduating from the incubator, even without asking Google to abandon its 
> interest in the Google Wave trademark (just as we haven't asked NCSU to
> abandon its interest in VCL).  We just want to avoid any potential confusion
> about the marks and the software they refer to.
> 
> If we need a legal opinion from the org about the propriety of that solution
> I'd be happy to go fetch one, but for now let's please just move on to any
> other remaining issues with the proposal.


I completely agree with everything you said. Furthermore, I am quite satisfied based on the
responses I got to my questions that Google has already given us permission to use Apache
Wave.  

The real question is whether the ASF is comfortable in having a project with that name.  For
example, since Google is retaining the rights to Google Wave they could at any time ship a
version of Apache Wave under that name - which, I believe, is something not currently allowed
for any other ASF project. OTOH, Wave in a Box (or WIAB) sounds like it is probably quite
unique.  Personally, I am torn between being consistent and the fact that a project named
Apache Wave is going to have instant market appeal.

But a decision on what the formal project name will be should not preclude entrance to the
incubator. However, the project participants should be aware that there is likely to be more
discussion on the issue.

Ralph
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