Virtualization Technology News and Information
Xen Trademark - Pay Up!

One of the latest SearchServerVirtualization articles offers a slightly disturbing report on the Xen name trademark.  In it, they write:

Unlike Shakespeare's rose, Xen, by any other name, is most definitely not Xen, and 'Xen' trademark holder XenSource Inc. has told other virtualization players that unless they agree to its trademark terms, to stop calling their products as such.

XenSource, the commercial entity founded by of the University of Cambridge researchers that developed the open source hypervisor, made the Xen community aware of their trademark policy this fall, and, so far, at least one vendor -- Virtual Iron Software Inc. -- has agreed to stop using the name.

"I've been asked by XenSource's lawyers not to say the word that begins with 'X' since they own that word outright," said Mike Grandinetti, chief marketing officer at Virtual Iron Software in Lowell, Mass.

According to Grandinetti, XenSource's lawyers "dropped a bomb" on the Xen community last month when they announced that "you'll have to pay to certify your apps against our test suite, and you'll have to pay us some more to use the name," Grandinetti said.

Simon Crosby, CTO at XenSource, disputes the notion that XenSource asked Virtual Iron to pay for the right to the Xen brand. "It's not a money-making thing whatsoever," Crosby said. "It's about protecting the community."

The "community" in this case refers to the list of Linux distribution vendors and XenSource partners that have rendered "Faithful Implementations" of the Xen hypervisor, as maintained by XenSource at Those vendors, according to XenSource include, but are not limited to, Novell, Sun and Red Hat.

Check out the rest of this article, here.

Published Sunday, March 04, 2007 11:35 AM by David Marshall
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Comments - Virtualization Information - (Author's Link) - March 8, 2007 12:44 PM

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