Firebird Database Project Issues New Statement on Naming Debate
Thursday May 1st, 2003
On Tuesday, the Firebird database project's main front page was updated with another statement from the Firebird Admins about the naming controversy. The announcement suggests that the database project's leaders may be satisified if mozilla.org and related sites follow the policy of the Mozilla branding guidelines to the letter and only ever refer to the former Phoenix browser as 'Mozilla Firebird'. According to the update, the Firebird Admins, the FirebirdSQL Foundation committee and the IBPhoenix principals (the IBPhoenix site appears to be down right now) sent a formal letter to mozilla.org on Friday and are awaiting a response.
The statement also links to an assessment of the Firebird database community's legal position, published by the FirebirdSQL Foundation. We were not able to verify the accuracy of this legal advice, which was researched by Pavel Cisar, one of the database project's administrators, and two unnamed legal consultants. Interestingly, the document reveals for the first time that the FirebirdSQL Foundation is considering suing mozilla.org. In the past, the group has claimed that they are not interested in taking legal action and could not afford to anyway. The Foundation has also published another summary of how they believe mozilla.org's use of the Firebird name harms the database project.
Monday May 5th, 2003 6:30 AM
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again, it is not up to you, or mozilla.org, or the database, to decide what a generic word is and what constitutes a trademark infringement and who stole the name first. that is up to the law, so it's up to the courts, if Moz & Fb can't share the name.
if what you say is true, that Fb only seeks publicity, i don't see a reason to complain about that. nobody gets hurt by that. for now, i have read some interpretations of the tm-laws, citing the Product Class 9, that seemed completely logic to me. maybe a comment of one of mozilla's legal consultants would help - as we were being told for weeks, if not months, that they are verifying the new name. i didn't read any official comment about that. also, nobody could cite a law establishing "browsers" and "databases" as different products (in tm-law terms. i do know that they are different products in software terms). to me, they are both part of the category "software" and even this category is subsumed under the Class 9 category.