Neowin.net Reports on Firebird Name Debate
Sunday April 20th, 2003
To the best of our knowledge, MozillaZine was not hacked on Friday. From what we understand, a large load on the MySQL database put a lot of strain on the server. This caused the error messages that some users saw while using site features such as the Talkback article comments pages and the forums. At some points during the day, MozillaZine went down completely. For this reason, the Talkback pages and the forums were temporarily disabled but should now be fully working again.
#7 Stupid Article
Sunday April 20th, 2003 1:34 PM
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Whomever wrote the article doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.
"Firebird", as a trademark, would be considered an arbitrary designation, the usage of a common word in an arbitrary sense in order to impart specific distinction to a product.
FYI, the article's point that "Firebird" is a common English word is a non-point. As a trademark, its arbitrary usage renders it relevant, because if it didn't then Mozilla wouldn't be able to take their community friendly "so sue us" stance. If it wasn't for the arbitrary usage, they simply wouldn't be able to use it.
However, the article goes on to state what is becoming an old saw already, that because one is a DATABASE and the other is a BROWSER, that difference is alone enough to justify the trademark ownership.
Aaaaaaeeeennnngggghhhhh. Thanks for playing. Wrong answer. Well, possibly.
The fact is, both of the products in question are SOFTWARE, and both have, possibly arguably, enough of an audience to claim confusion in the marketplace. What a lawsuit would have to demonstrate is that, in the mind of a typical consumer of these products, enough of a distinction exists between the concepts of browser and database that it isn't reasonably possible that the designation of one products could confuse or dilute the designation of the other. Is this possible? Well, that depends, and convincing a courtroom no confusion would be possible is another matter.
The fact that Mozilla may be the first to try and legally trademark the name in this might help them.
The article closes with the point, "You don't whack someone if they happen to have the same name as you." This is another non-point. The article is really poorly written. The fact is, while you may not whack someone who happens to have the same name is you if you meet them on the street, business do it to each other all the time, every day. And if there's anyone here who thinks that Mozilla isn't a business, well, then they're very naive about an organization that hires attorneys to protect its trademark. Non-businesses don't bother.
Finally, the article goes on to say that Mozillazine was hacked. Someone above supports it with the cry "DOS! DOS!". Whatever. Some people here are so stupid they deserve Microsoft.