[sclug] Python trademark at risk in Europe: We need your help!

John Stumbles sclug at yaph.org.uk
Fri Feb 15 10:16:55 UTC 2013



For anyone who works in a company that has an office in a EU Community 
member state, we need your help.

There is a company in the UK that is trying to trademark the use of the 
term "Python" for all software, services, servers... pretty much 
anything having to do with a computer. Specifically, it is the company 
that got a hold on the python.co.uk domain 13 years ago. At that time we 
weren't looking a lot at trademark issues, and so we didn't get that domain.

This hasn't been an issue since then because the python.co.uk domain 
has, for most of its life, just forwarded its traffic on to the parent 
companies, veber.co.uk and pobox.co.uk. Unfortunately, Veber has decided 
that they want to start using the name "Python" for their server products.

We contacted the owners of python.co.uk repeatedly and tried to discuss 
the matter with them. They blew us off and responded by filing the 
community trademark application claiming the exclusive right to use 
"Python" for software, servers, and web services - everywhere in Europe.

We got legal counsel in the UK and we (the PSF) are opposing the 
community trademark application, but our own trademark application 
hasn't yet matured. Accordingly, we are going with the trademark rights 
we have developed through using "Python" consistently over the past 20 

According to our London counsel, some of the best pieces of evidence we 
can submit to the European trademark office are official letters from 
well-known companies "using PYTHON branded software in various member 
states of the EU" so that we can "obtain independent witness statements 
from them attesting to the trade origin significance of the PYTHON mark 
in connection with the software and related goods/services." We also 
need evidence of use throughout the EU.

What can you do?
1. Do you work for a company that uses Python? Are in the EU, do you 
hire in the EU, or do you have an office in the EU? Could you write a 
letter on company letterhead that we can forward to our EU counsel?

We would want:

     just a brief description of how Python is used at your company,
     how your company looks for and recognizes "Python" as only coming 
from the PSF, and
     your view that another company using term Python to refer to 
services, software, and servers would be confusing

This doesn't need to be long - just a couple of paragraphs, but we would 
want any description of how you use Python for software, web hosting, 
Internet servers, VPNs, design and development of computer hardware or 
software, hosting websites, renting servers (like Openstack), or backup 
services. For those who are interested the specific class descriptions 
are at the bottom of this message. [1][2]

You can send a PDF copy of the letter to psf-trademarks at python.org

2. Do you have, or know of, anything that was published in the EU and 
uses "Python" to refer to Python-the-language? Can we get copies, 
pictures, or scans? This includes:

     Conference programs or talks
     Job listings
     Magazines or other publications

You can send a PDF scan of the materials to psf-trademarks at python.org

3. You can also help protect the Python intellectual property with 
financial support.

Since the costs of a trademark opposition are in the range of tens of 
thousands of dollars, we will need to find a way to refinance the legal 
costs of the opposition.

Please consider donating to the Python Software Foundation at:


or get in touch with [them] directly.

This is the first time the PSF has to take legal action to protect 
Python's intellectual property. Please do consider helping the PSF in 
any way you can. The threat is real and can potentially harm your 
business in Europe, especially if you are in the web hosting business 
and provide Python as part of your hosting plans.


John Stumbles                                       http://yaph.org.uk

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