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back to article Oracle asserts non-existent open source trademark

Oracle's trademark on the popular Hudson open-source project doesn't exist. At least for now. Oracle claimed that it acquired the Hudson trademark with its purchase of Sun Microsystems. But a well-placed former Sun Microsystems employee has contacted The Reg to say that Sun took an "explicit decision" not to apply for a …

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Silver badge

Can I be the first to call bull on this?

"There is a US process and an EU process and I don't have the details of where we are within those processes."

Yet he thinks he knows where they are well enough to call on the (non-existant?) trademark?

I wonder if he's aware that trademarks granted can be challenged in the "EU process"?

Really, you start to wonder about the logic process going on inside these people's heads. This largely pointless exercise is just going to cost them money, generate a whole heap of bad feeling, and what's the point considering the project can be forked and renamed (if it hasn't already - any sane devs might be considering ditching close ties to a company acting in this matter). How can they possibly stand to gain from this? Can anybody explain?

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FAIL

You're more than welcome...

You're more than welcome to be the first. Just as with you, I also have to wonder about the thinking going on at Oracle. They are so arrogant it's almost beyond belief.

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Re: Can anybody explain?

Yes.

This is business. In business you monytorise everything. And you make sure that anything that the peons working for you can't do anything that you don't own.

Sun got baught out because they forgot this and gave stuff away and did not monytorise their intellectual property.

This has now been rectified and Oracle now owns Sun's sole.

(c) City Analytics's Inc.

This information is worth less than what you paid for it, otherwise there would be no profit in the transaction.

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Coat

@heyrick

Well they stand to gain bad feeling, headaches, employee dissatisfaction etc. Yes I would say they have something to gain the real question is do they really want to gain all that; :p

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Pint

Maybe...

...call it PHUDSON.

New York River Project == NYRP ?

KOIN > Kick Oracle In Nads

ORDF> Oracle are Dum Fuks

FKAH> Formerly Known As Hudson

etc. It is all a moot point, since you are allowed to use a trademarked name to compare (in the US not sure about EU) products. For example Wal-Mart's EQUATE brand says "Compare To [Brand]" And then disclaims any relationship to whatever brand they are ripping^H^H^H^H^H^H^H copying.

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Alert

At least the EU patent and copyright rules won't support U.S. shenanigans

Just where the hell do any of these U.S. West coast companies think they have the right to steal and plunder all these works by others?

The EU uses more acceptable criteria and would most likely acknowledge the open software communities interest in the word 'Hudson' which, for some reason, has a New York flavour to it.

Back to the boat, Ellison.

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Thumb Down

Pschhhh

Like it is necessary to be right to send threatening lawyery letters. Just ask SCSO.

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Acquiring open-source projects...

You're doing it wrong.

The way you do it is to persuade the people making it to come and work for you, then proceed to make those people the happiest people in the world. Surprisingly, this does not *always* involve giving them lots of money, but it does involve letting them do their thing.

Buying the company that is doing this, then telling everybody that, oh, Open Office is now Your Intellectual Property, then asking the makers what they're going to do about it, is less than perfect, as the obvious answer is for them to say goodbye, and continue their much appreciated work for someone else. Leaving the company with a heap of source code, and not the people who made it what it is today.

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Department of Redundancy Department

".. it might be that project creator Kohsuke Kawaguchi was a Sun employee Sun employee Kawaguchi, now with start-up CloudBees .. "

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Happy

Yes, you can, and you are...

Can I be second?

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Stop

still...

Don't know what license Hudson uses, but if it is GPL for example, you can't call your fork the same name. Probably true for other licenses too...

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Uh...no...

The name is separate from the code license. The GPL doesn't involve itself with what you call the protected work. You can call it whatever you like to the confusion of all and the license won't prohibit that.

What's prohibited by the GPL is restricting the rights given or relicensing the protected work in question without the permission of ALL of the rights holders involved. A fork's a fork. You would want to typically rename it to avoid confusion- but, again, the license typically does nothing to keep you from muddying the waters by keeping the name.

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Sure?

"Kawaguchi started the project during his spare time, but US labor law says assets created by employees using their employer's resources and time are owned by their employer"

Including some kind of automatic trademark that doesn't have to be applied for? I doubt it.

And wouldn't the game change if that same project was then open sourced?

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Headmaster

Registered or not?

Are we talking "Registered Trademark" or non-registered "Trademark"?

If non-registered then Trademarks can be created at the drop of a hat on and on a whim in many cases; I can and do personally assert claim of ownership on a number of non-registered Trademarks.

If Sun did not have the Trademark, and no one else did, then Oracle can simply 'invent it', use it and gain the legal protections which come with doing so.

A non-registered Trademark does not have as much legal weight as a Registered Trademark but it does have some, and would normally protect the rights which Oracle appear to be claiming.

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Stop

Oracle Hudson trademark

no list of goods and services beyond the extremely vague "Computer software development tools in the nature of continuous integration software.".

Correspondence address given as "Oracle America, Inc. 500 Oracle Parkway Redwood Shores, California 94065 ESTADOS UNIDOS (DE AMÉRICA)" (why not United States of America, given that the application is first language EN and secondary language DE?)

Defintion of acquired distinctiveness (from wikipedia, but it's reasonably accurate anyway) is:

A trademark with no distinctive character (i.e. a mark which is not inherently distinctive) is prima facie unregistrable. However, most jurisdictions may still allow such marks to be registered if the trademark owner can demonstrate, typically by reference to evidence of use, that consumers in the marketplace exclusively associate the mark, as used on the identified goods or in connection with the identified services, with a particular commercial origin or source (i.e. the trademark owner). "Use" may include authorized use by a licensee or other party

EU verdict on Oracle's "Hudson" application? Acquired Distinctiveness: NO

Any lawyers out there care to comment on the fairness of this:

http://oss.oracle.com/oca.pdf

AC on the grounds on extremely boring nature of post.

Please can we have an evil Larry icon?

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FAIL

Biassed/Get your facts straight

Seems the author of this article is biassed/didn't do his research properly.

"A search here reveals that Oracle applied for a trademark on October 29 of this year, just before Hudson users began forking the service by moving it off Oracle-owned hosting servers."

If it was November 29 of this year the author would be right, since it all started with the problems on the java.net merge. See http://hudson-labs.org/content/whos-driving-thing

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FAIL

Trademark doesn't apply...

The "trademark" in question was in use prior to Oracle's application for the same. It wasn't trademarked by Sun and making representations of this nature that Oracle did is actually making False Statements. They didn't have the trademark in question at the time of the fork (Applying one day before it happened doesn't change the fact that they DID NOT HAVE ONE and it was in use by the project without application prior to the fact...) and more to the point, the trademark doesn't preclude the fork as Oracle is boldly and incorrectly claiming here, only the name that goes with the original project would be affected if Trademark DID apply in the first place.

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This is not a fork

The article is just wrong to assert that the Nov 30th server move was a fork of the project. My understanding was that Hudson developers had been getting fed up for a long term with the reliability of Sun-then-Oracle's java.net hosting services and had collectively decided that github and Google Groups would be more reliable places to host their code and mailing lists.. It wasn't the creation of a second project, and the Oracle employee who was joint "co-owner" of the project would still be co-owner at the new locations. The move was simply about developer convenience.

And then Oracle objected to the move away from their services (I guess because this threatened their sense of being in control of "their" project), as covered in the Reg. But there still hasn't been a fork of the project. Yet.

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Big companies are so professional

"I believe Oracle trademarked several assets acquired as part of the Sun acquisition, including Hudson. There is a US process and an EU process and I don't have the details of where we are within those processes."

"Believe"? Ever heard of due diligence? It's always laughable to hear spokesdrones for corporations criticise non-corporate entities as being "unprofessional" or "hobbyists" and then come out with "it must be here somewhere" when riling the people who make their products worth using.

Of course, Oracle is in the usual process of running down stuff they've bought. Give Larry a while (while he squeezes the poor sods who are locked into his products) and he'll be buying some other company to plug the gaps in his rotting portfolio. The only reason why his RDBMS isn't withering on the vine is probably down to some Oracle old-timers having him by the balls. Otherwise, he'd have bought various competitors long ago to prop up his offerings in that area.

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Jobs Horns

woo, publicity

First I've heard of hudson

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Alert

Savage indeed

Every time I read news of Oracle screwing up with a FOSS project they inherited from Sun, I remember Gosling's remark on how Sun's management considered selling out to IBM, but ultimately decided for Oracle on the grounds that IBM would be harsher on lay-offs, even though Oracle would be more "savage" in managing the company's assets.

Now I don't know how Oracle have gone about those lay-offs; but I do hope they've been extra-light on it – because they're not holding back nill on the "savage" department, and I'd hate to learn it has been all for nothing.

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Pirate

TM

Call it Delaware

Both were mapped by Hudson

North River = Hudson

South River = Delaware

Kinda has a nice "ware" feel about it too !!!

Ah, OK, too late - I've just taken the Delaware trademark :)

You can buy it from me for a very reasonable price (I'm thinking £50)

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Pirate

Ownership of Hudson?

"If Oracle has a claim, it might be that project creator Kohsuke Kawaguchi was a Sun employee Sun employee Kawaguchi, now with start-up CloudBees, came to work on the project during his day job. Kawaguchi started the project during his spare time, but US labor law says assets created by employees using their employer's resources and time are owned by their employer. ®"

Ownership is a bit more complicated...

Here's the rub. In this case Kawaguchi developed Hudson while on employer's dime. Even if he did the work after hours and on his own servers, Oracle could still lay claim to the work...

If Oracle/Sun could demonstrate that Kawaguchi would not have developed Hudson were it not for the work he did for Sun, meaning the idea came to Kawaguchi because of his work at Sun, then Oracle could lay claim to Hudson.

While the claim is tenuous at best, its still a valid claim and it would cost a lot of money to defend one's self from the ensuing lawsuit.

This is why companies like Oracle/HP/IBM have key R&D types sign additional employee agreements that the 'rank and file' don't have to sign. In addition, most R&D companies prohibit employees from 'moonlighting' in their specific area of expertise. So if you work for IBM in R&D, you end up doing side work in a non-technical field like being a 'slum lord' :-)

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Be a good OSS citizen for once Oracle.

http://sensiblerationalization.blogspot.com/2010/12/thoughts-on-recent-hudson-trademark.html

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