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Apple sued over use of Rendezvous trademark

Business software developer alleges infringement

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Business software company Tibco has filed a complaint with the US District Court for Northern California claiming that Apple's Rendezvous technology infringes upon one of its own trademarks, the company said today.

Tibco claims Apple attempted to trade on its goodwill and engage in unfair conduct and - presumably a reference to what it describes as the Mac maker's "continual refusal to honour our trademark". Apple has also allegedly been unwilling to "reach an amicable agreement" over the trademark - cough up money to Tibco, in other words.

Rendezvous is the name Tibco has given to its messaging infrastructure, part of its ActiveEnterprise offering, and says it has the name trademarked since 1994. The company has asked the court to force Apple to pay up for the "competitive and economic harm" it claims the Mac maker has done it.

Rendezvous is Apple's name for its implementation of the ZeroConf instant network configuration system, launched last year when the company announced Mac OS X 10.2. Since then, it has garnered backing from big name software and peripheral suppliers who have all said they will support the technology in their own products.

It's hard to imagine that Apple, as notoriously protective of its trademarks as it is, missed Tibco's own Rendezvous mark when it was choosing a fancier name for ZeroConf. Presumably it then, as now, believes there's no clash of confusion between the two. It has trademarked both the Rendezvous name and logo. Its web site describes the trademarks as covering "networking software". ®

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