Mitchell Baker on the Firebird Naming Dispute
Monday May 12th, 2003
Mitchell Baker, mozilla.org's Chief Lizard Wrangler, has recently been in contact with Ann Harrison, an administrator of the Firebird database project, and Mark O'Donohue, President of the FirebirdSQL Foundation. Mitchell has posted a copy of a recent letter she sent to Harrison and O'Donohue to netscape.public.mozilla.seamonkey. In the message, she describes how mozilla.org firmly believes that Mozilla Firebird is not infringing on the Firebird database trademark but that the name will eventually give way to 'Mozilla Browser' as the focus of development shifts towards standalone applications.
Some recent media articles have declared the Firebird database community as the victors in the naming dispute. Later this week, MozillaZine hopes to publish an exclusive interview with a senior mozilla.org staff member, which will shed some new light on the situation and clarify mozilla.org's current position.
#37 Bullying? Get real.
by jonadab <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wednesday May 14th, 2003 2:32 PM
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Bullying? By using a name like "Firebird"? Seriously? "Firebird"? What potent narcotics would make *anyone* think a name as absurdly generic as "Firebird" could *possibly* be trademarkable? How many hundreds of products over the years have been called "Firebird"? How many dozens of software products? Next the Firebird Database people will be whining about MySQL infringing on them by using the term "database". Sheesh, get a life.
AOL's trademark lawyers researched this carefully and chose a name that couldn't possibly be a problem. And they're right: it couldn't possibly be (and isn't) a problem. The Firebird Database people are just trying to pretend the world revolves around them. If they did a google search for Firebird software and made themselves look through a few thousand of the resulting pages, maybe they'd wake up and realise they *never* had a lock on that name. Not even a third of the pages related to the words "firebird" and "software" have any reference at all to "database", "databases", or "sql". Their use of that word as a name for their project is incidental; in no way can it be construed as their trademark.