Is the word "Python" copyrighted/trademarked?

Michael Stenner mstenner at
Tue Oct 1 22:40:37 CEST 2002

On Tue, Oct 01, 2002 at 03:12:32PM -0500, sismex01 at wrote:
> > From: Troels Therkelsen [mailto:t_therkelsen at]
> > 
> > Hey everybody,
> > 
> > My question is whether the word "Python" classifies as a PSF 
> > trademark or trade name?  Eg., if I wanted to create a web
> > server in Python (not that I want to), could I call it
> > "Python Web Server" without breaking any rules?
> Hmmm... "Python" is the name of a snake, and it's also
> a common english word; I don't think it can be copyrighted.
> ¿Can it?

Copyright?  No.  Trademark?  Probably.  Trademarking is specific to a
market.  For example, even if it is trademarked in this case, I could
still certainly manufacture and sell a "Python" bike pump.

For example, "Windows" is trademarked by Microsoft.  That is in more
common usage than "python" and also refers to a common object. 


(Actually, windows isn't a great example because "window" IS common
also in the "close that popup window" sense.  Just ignore that here.
The "there's a draft" sense is not problematic.)
  Michael Stenner                       Office Phone: 919-660-2513
  Duke University, Dept. of Physics       mstenner at
  Box 90305, Durham N.C. 27708-0305

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