[Mailman-Users] use of name "mailman"

Greg Stein gstein at lyra.org
Mon Feb 22 23:03:18 CET 1999

Christopher Kolar wrote:
> Sorry to bug you all with this (not being on the developers' list myself),
> but I was wondering if I am the only person to wonder about the use of the
> name "Mailman."  It is used by Endymion (www.endymion.com) for both the
> commercial and the (excellent, free) standard versions of their WWW-POP3
> interface software.  I am running both on the same server and about once or
> twice a day get confused over which I am reading about.  Apart from the
> confusion of a few users, maybe the development team should look into the
> use of the name (from a legal perspective).

John started the software in 1996, I believe, and started using the name
almost immediately. Endymion didn't release their Mailman software until
September 1997 (found via DejaNews).

Strictly speaking, I think if Endymion happended to trademark the name
(as it relates to computer software since "mailman" is a common word
otherwise), John's prior use probably would not invalidate their mark. I
may be mistaken, but I believe prior use only applies to patents, rather
than trademarks. I bet they would have a difficult time of obtaining a
trademark on such a term, in any case.

Anyhow... we could say that Endymion usurped the name :-)


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/

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