Python needs your help - Trademark under attack

Not sure where I should have posted this, but here it is:


“The Python Software Foundation is the organisation which protects and manages the “boring” bits of keeping a big open source project alive: the legal and contractual parts, funding for projects, trademarks and copyrights.
If you are based in Europe, or know somebody who uses Python in Europe, the PSF needs your help.There is a company in the UK who has applied to trademark the name “Python” and are claiming the exclusive right to use the word “Python” for software, servers, and web services over the entire European Union.You can read more about this here: you have documentation of European user groups, trade associations, books, conferences, scans of job advertisements for Python programmers, software that uses some variation of “Python” in the name, etc. your evidence will be helpful in defeating this attempted grab of the Python name.You can also testify to the fact that when you read or hear of the name “Python” in relation to computers and the Internet, you think of Python the programming language.”

Well, I’m from the USA and can sympathize with that. The crookedness of a lot of large companies and businesses (anywhere, really) is amazing… Although, again, not every large business and company is bad.

On topic, this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a while. It would be roll-on-the-floor-laughing funny if it wasn’t rather serious. To think, some company trying to grab a name like that that has been in use for what, like twenty years? Wow, just wow…

Thank you for the signal,
I have sent my two books to [email protected] (they are free, but registered under different ISBN, thus may be helpful for PSF)

Considering the amount of software that have Python implemented (more or less) into their framework, PSF shouldn’t have any troubles defending their trademark.

They cannot get the exclusive trademark rights to a common, anymore then Apple could get the exclusive rights to the letter i when used as a prefix for a product name.

Hard to say what will happen, really. In the dispute between Apple Corp (The Beatles) and Apple Computer, Apple Computer ended up buying out Apple Corps’ right to use the Apple name, then leasing it back to them. In other words, the only way Jobs could keep the right to use the Apple name was to buy it.

If Jobs hadn’t done that, it’s entirely possible that Berkley Breathed might have taken up the fight against Apple who would have changed their name to Banana, thus violating copyrights and trademarks laid down in the Bloom County comic strip in the 1980s.

I also wonder how the original Pythons figure into this dispute. A quick search of is devoid of any reference to getting permission to use the name.

I think whoever has the most money will win this, even if they have to buy rights from the other party like Jobs did.

Wait they have a foundation and they never thought to register Python as a trademark. This is both comical and tragic in a weird way, In some countries you have to register a trademark use doesn’t give you trademark rights. Surely someone should have known this. At least Canonical had the foresight to register Ubuntu. I hope the Blender Foundation has done the same with Blender.

Remember William R. Della Croce, Jr., who tried to trademark Linux and demanded licence payments for it? (Nothing new under the sun!) I’ll see what I can contribute, and thanks for the alert, Mperonen!

I can only imagine the occurrence of things like this increasing as you become required to register the name of your product in more and more countries. Just because you register the term in one area of the world doesn’t mean it applies everywhere.

Speaking of the whole deal with Steve Jobs having to buy the trademark from the Beatles. Apple has recently been in battles over the iPhone trademark in China and Brazil due to someone in those countries using it for one of their products, so it’s not just the non-profit software foundations that are affected.

EDIT: Read the article, I’m in partial agreement with Tyrant Monkey that the Python team should’ve taken steps from the very beginning to protect their use of the word ‘Python’. I mean, you’re railing against a company that’s been using the name in a web address for nearly 20 years, so this is not necessarily just a case of the ‘greedy capitalist’ picking on the little guy.

I’m not saying that the Python foundation shouldn’t pursue the use of any legal channels to get an official hold on the name, I also am not suggesting that I’m unconditionally on the side of the UK company either (due to them not making full use of the trademark for all this time), but if all else fails, I think ‘Cobra’, ‘Viper’, ‘Anaconda’, ‘Constrictor’, and ‘Rattler’, are still available.

Or even, going with the original fan-oriented name: Monty, Fruitbat, FishSlap, or NowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent. If the latter, they could get in the GBWR for longest name for a programming language.