Will we have to change the name of the Python language to something else? An attempt to trademark the name in Europe might cause some problems unless it is stopped. UPDATE: Settlement secures Python name for language.
The Python Software Foundation (PSF) is asking for help with a trademark problem. A UK based company, Veber, is trying to trademark the use of the term "Python" for all software, services, servers and almost anything to do with a computer. The company already has control of the python.co.uk domain name and has held it for 13 years, which could be a powerful aid to their case.
To quote the PSF:
"Unfortunately, Veber has decided that they want to start using the name "Python" for their server products.
We contacted the owners of python.co.uk repeatedly and tried to discuss the matter with them. They blew us off and responded by filing the community trademark application claiming the exclusive right to use "Python" for software, servers, and web services - everywhere in Europe."
Obviously the PSF is opposing the move and plans to submit evidence to the European trademark office of its prior claim. What it wants help with is in providing the evidence. It wants you to send in evidence that Python is used in European companies and a statement that another company using the name Python would be confusing. They also want evidence of published material that references the Python language:
"This doesn't need to be long - just a couple of paragraphs, but we would want any description of how you use Python for software, web hosting, Internet servers, VPNs, design and development of computer hardware or software, hosting websites, renting servers (like Openstack), or backup services."
You can send your evidence, and/or contributions, to fighting the case to the PSF. It is also quite happy to accept PDF copies of any evidence you might have that the name Python is already in use in the same subject area.
It's a strange situation. Why would a knowledgeable computer firm want to trademark the name of a language which it must know exists as a worldwide entity. What is next? Could some company register other language names like Java? Oh wait they already have...
"Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates."
Open source software organizations need to take better care of their intellectual property to stop others doing so.