Possible OWL trademark problem?


I went through the trade marking adventure
in DOD with the Ada Language. Our motive
for trying to trademark the language
was about CONTROL. The prevailing logic at
the time appeared to be that what we were doing
was such a profound blessing to the free world,
and was going to be the driving force in the I.T.
industry for decades to come, it needed to be
"controlled" and by who better and more worthy
than us? The truths we discovered around trademarks -

1) it was incongruent for us to attempt to control
a product produced in an "open" forum and not too
legally sound. How the trademark was to be implemented
across products emanating from multiple companies
was also a curiosity;

2) products (shrink-wrap) carry trademarks, not
concepts; ideas; methodologies or standards;

3) we were unclear about what it was we were trying
to control with the whole trademark idea. We finally
arrived at one motive we could actually implement -
conformance enforcement, a QA function;

4) conformance enforcement was achieved with a
"Validation Mark", not a certification mark,
something different, so I understand but remain
gladly uninformed around; and

5) there was a strong natural tension between
the idea of having an "open" standard and then
turning around and trying out some form of control
over it in national and international standards
fora who made it clear they would have none of it.

Hope this helps & Regards,

John Stanton
Department of Defense

Received on Tuesday, 29 January 2002 20:38:53 UTC