Python trademark under attack -- the PSF needs your help

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Fri Feb 15 15:04:39 CET 2013

Giles Coochey wrote:

>> If 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.
> Err...
> One would think that is enough.

Giles, thank you for taking the time to respond, but I'm sorry to say that I
don't think your response is helpful. Unless you are a trademark lawyer,
your intuition about how trivially easy this will be is probably not going
to be accurate.

You would probably think it was presumptuous for a trademark lawyer to
venture an opinion on how easy it is to write some piece of software. The
same applies in reverse. We need to listen to the experts in European
trademark law, those who know what sort of evidence the European Trademark
Office consider meaningful and significant. These people have told the
Python Software Foundation what needs to be done to fight this trademark
application, and trust me, "spend two seconds doing a search on Amazon" is
*not* it.

Dismissing the trademark grab as:

> Surely and open/shut case.

is the simplest way to ensure that the PSF loses their appeal and the right
to the name "Python" in Europe.

If anyone has the sort of documentary evidence which the PSF has requested,
and can scan and email them to the PSF, that will be helpful. If anyone is
willing and able to donate money to the foundation to help with the legal
expenses, estimated at tens of thousands of dollars, to challenge this
trademark application, that will also be helpful. If you have a blog,
please consider spreading the word.

The PSF needs all the help it can get, but it needs to be the sort of help
set out here:

If anyone is thinking of doing something trivially easy which anyone can do,
such as googling "python", trust me, the PSF has already done it. The PSF
is looking for the sort of help that they can't get by typing into a search
engine. If anyone can help, that's great. If you can't help, then please
don't discourage those who can by claiming this is trivial.

Thank you.


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