Feeds

Brit web biz waves white flag in Python trademark bout

Veber flees snake pit of online attacks and death threats

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

UK website hoster Veber has binned its bid to exclusively trademark the word “python” in Europe following talks with the Python Software Foundation (PSF).

In an agreement described by both sides as “amicable”, Veber will also rebrand its hosting and online backup service that it had called Python. The British company and the PSF locked horns over the trademark attempt as Python is also the name of a decades-old popular programming language.

Veber CEO Tim Poultney said in a statement that he’d reached a speedy settlement with the PSF that would “remove potential confusion between the Python software language and our cloud services business”. PSF chairman Van Lindberg said Veber was “willing to recognise the Python brand without protracted negotiations”.

Lindberg thanked Python fans for “their immense outpouring of support throughout the dispute” both financially and in writing letters to officials in the European Union.

Earlier, though, Linberg and an another PSF official condemned a campaign of online attacks against Veber's servers and its staff from the Python faithful, who were outraged after Lindberg claimed Python was in peril.

Poultney told The Reg that Veber staff received death threats in phone calls and emails as more than 4,000 messages poured in; the company's main and Python websites were also knocked offline in a distributed denial-of-service attack.

Lindberg responded with a follow-up plea: “We put out a call for civility - and we want to emphasize that any hacktivism or threats will end up hurting the Python community in the long run. This is not who we are or how we act.”

Veber filed its trademark ownership claim on the word "python" having owned and operated the Python.co.uk domain for 16 years without bother from the PSF.

The programming language was conceived in the 1980s and came into being in 1991, predating Veber’s domain, but it wasn’t awarded a US trademark until 2004. In an email to The Reg, Lindberg asserted the PSF had the right to use Python in Europe due to prior use of the word on the Continent.

“The fact that we have used 'Python' for so long has given us prior rights. When Veber started using 'Python' for their software and services, and applied for the exclusive right to do so, it was confusing to the point where we had to object purely to defend ourselves and our community,” Lindberg said.

Numerous companies in the US use the Python name, both in tech and non-tech sectors. According to Lindberg these companies are using the mark with permission and according the PSF’s published trademark policy.

He claimed Veber’s use of the name Python is confusing and could be seen as passing off under UK law. The PSF would have to rely on evidence gathered by Python fans to argue that it owned the word by association rather than actual registration. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.