Just for the record, Firebird is the Open Source version of Borland’s Interbase. They (the database) used the name much longer so Mozilla decided to change theirs. Besides that, when you addopt a name for a product it actually becomes a trademark. It’s just a choice to have that trademark protected legaly but it is a trademark nonetheless.
Oh, I was just going by the info on one of Firefox’s main sites:
"What’s with the new name?
Firefox is the new name for Mozilla Firebird (which was the new name for Phoenix). The name had to change twice because of legal issues. There was a lengthy process in picking the name, with hours of meetings and occasionally lots of frustration."
I just assumed because they said legal issues that it wasn’t just a voluntary decision. Still, as it has been said before, similar or same names just lead to confusion. If you manage to choose a catchy name like Pixar (my favourite name) then people will respect your company more for having the ingenuity to come up with something unique.
hence ® and ™ and © needing to be placed by all registered trade marks. copyrighted logos etc…
registered trademarks are the protected ones.
Best be careful. A guy called Mike Rowe made a website, and thought it would be fun to add ‘soft’ on the end. Microsoft weren’t happy about it. Despite www.mikerowesoft.com and www.microsoft.com being spelled very differently (so not likely to accidentally end up at Mike’s via a spellying mistake) because it was pronounced the same, they threatened with legal action (according to the articles someone linked).
So a safe bet would be something that can’t be easily connected with another company name in any way. I was told someone made a porn site or something called www.microsofy.com and microsoft got mad because it was an easy spelling mistake to make (y right beside t). I can’t confirm that, but wouldn’t be too suprised.
Thanks for all the interesting threads. I thinks it’s good that we can finally start shedding some light on this issue. I think a lot of people here would like to have their own trademark but are worried about comanies such as “Microsoft” threatening legal action.
There is of course another issue that has much to do with trademarks: “Domains”
If someone owns a streetside shop called…err “Toy-Collector” and wanted to start an online businees but then discovered that someone already owns the domain “Toy-Collector”, who has the last word. The guy who owns the Trademark or the guy who owns the www.Domain.com
You get these websites where you can search are domain name to see if it already has been registered. Is there something similar with Trademarks?
ummm domain names can only be used once.
hence i have mudpuddle.co.nz because mudpuddle.com is taken already.
i could go and buy coke.com if i wanted, but its already taken.
a good reason why the matrix original official website was “www.whatisthematrix.com”
it is now accessable by “thematrix.com” because the owners of that domain would have sold it to them.
but basicly domain names are totally independant from trademarks.
Not so here in the Netherlands: when you own a trademark and someone else has registered that trademark as a website (as long as they are in Holland and fall under Dutch laws) the owner of the website will be hold to tranfer the site to the holder of the trademark for the normal registration price. There have been several cases where someone thought to be smart and register websites for artist names that where not yet registered by the artists themselves with the intent to sell the domain name to the artist for a substantial price afterward. The court decided it to be a trademark violation.