I’m afraid it’s not that easy.  The situation with Xen and Xen 
Project is actually quite different.

            First, in this case, Citrix chose to retain their Xen trademark 
(like Juniper), while providing a free trademark license for all vendors 
providing Xen products (unlike Juniper).  Second, LF trademarked “Xen Project” 
as a way to trademark the new project itself as it joined.  This is a weak 
trademark as any trademark lawyer will tell you. The LF and the Xen Project are 
probably at the mercy of Citrix if Citrix suddenly decided to enforce their 
trademark against them.  Although since Citrix is freely licensing “Xen” 
standalone, their usage might be included.  I don’t know.  IANAL.

            I can tell you that the LF was clear that while some exceptions had 
been made earlier in their life span, that they had now become reasonably good 
at this process and knew that in order to avoid issues they needed a clean 
trademark for projects.  They also gave numerous examples of recent projects 
that needed to rebrand.

            I am happy to ask the LF legal team to weigh in on this thread if 
it helps.

            OpenKontrail will not work because it is too similar to 
OpenContrail.  Trademarks have to be sufficiently differentiated and simple 
consonant/vowel replacements, pluralization, and so on, don’t do it.  In fact, 
Tesserax, as was pointed out in another thread, rides close to the edge because 
it touches on Tesseract, Tesseracts, Tesserack, Tesserae, and so on.  We 
potentially get away with it only because the other usages don’t appear to 
relate to networking, SDN, orchestration, or cloud.  The closest is Tesserack, 
although our legal team has concerns there.

            The easy permutations and discussions with legal counsel were 
handled a couple of months ago.  Only a clean rebranding will work at this 

            I will ask Mike Dolan of the LF to weigh in here.



Vice President, Technology & Strategy, Cloud Software
Juniper Networks
+1 (415) 787-2253 [Google Voice]
ASSISTANT: Stephanie Concepcion,<>
TWITTER: @randybias

From: Masood Ul Amin <>
Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 11:43 PM
To: Aniket Daptari <>, Randy Bias <>
Cc: "" <>, 
"" <>
Subject: RE: [opencontrail-dev] Opinion Please: Help Choose OpenContrail's New 

Thank you Aniket,
OpenKontrail sounds great.


From: Dev [] On Behalf Of Aniket 
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:40 PM
To: Randy Bias <>
Subject: Re: [opencontrail-dev] Opinion Please: Help Choose OpenContrail's New 

And therefore, with that example (Xen v/s Xen Project) in front of us, if the 
LF project can absolutely NOT be named OpenContrail or "OpenContrail Project", 
then why not call it "OpenKontrail Project" or something really close to the 
original name?


On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 11:38 PM, Aniket Daptari 
<<>> wrote:
FWIW, my 2 cents on this topic.

There is some precedent with the LF adding differentiation in the trademark 
owned by the LF by adding a simple suffix or prefix.
Let's take the example of "Xen" v/s "Xen Project".

The trademark "Xen" is owned by 
 and Citrix uses the Xen brand for proprietary products even unrelated to Xen 
(XenApp, XenDesktop, etc).

When the Xen 
 was moved under the auspices of the LF, a new trademark "Xen Project" was 
chosen to differentiate the LF project from Citrix's 

What I'm guessing from the discussion here is that the community's desire is 
that the LF project not have a drastically different name from the original 
project name. And from the above example it appears that the LF can trademark 
names that are only slightly differentiated from the original by the use of a 
simple suffix such as "Project".

Aniket Daptari

On Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 7:41 PM, Randy Bias 
<<>> wrote:

If trademarks were solely about finding something that no one else is using it 
would make what is already a tremendously difficult exercise basically 
impossible.  We would all be making up nonsense words in order to get something 
no one else used.

Trademarks infringement is defined as follows (NOLO):

“Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark 
(or a substantially similar mark) on competing or related goods and services. 
The success of a lawsuit to stop the infringement turns on whether the 
defendant's use causes a likelihood of confusion in the average consumer.”

The key here is that software-defined-networking (SDN) is sufficiently 
different from OCR that there should be little or no confusion.

Is it perfect?  No.  Was it flagged as a concern by legal?  Yes, it was.  
Moderate risk.  It was also one of the better names that is not completely 

Tesseract, while widely used, has a small committer base and no foundation 
behind it.  So legal risk is small.

So, to be clear, the same trademark term can be used multiple times as long as 
each usage is clearly distinct.

This is why we have 3 options.  If ultimately LF/LFN is unhappy with this 
option we will fall back to one of the others.



Vice President, Technology & Strategy, Cloud Software

Juniper Networks

+1 (415) 787-2253<tel:(415)%20787-2253> [Google Voice]

ASSISTANT: Stephanie Concepcion,<>

TWITTER: @randybias


On 2/13/18, 2:39 AM, "Dev on behalf of Valentine Sinitsyn" 
on behalf of<>> 

    Hi Greg,

    I'm concerned a bit about Tesserax being too close to Tesseract, which

    is a well-known open-source OCR (and also a registered trademark owned

    by someone else). Sounds very similar to Firebird (RDBMS) vs Firebird

    (now Firefox) issue of the early 2000s.

    My two cents,


    On 13.02.2018 05:52, Gregory Elkinbard wrote:

    > As many of you already know, we are required to change the name of the

    > project as part of moving to the LF-N.


    > We've started the ball rolling by coming up with a slate of names that

    > we've preliminarily vetted with trademark counsel. That process has

    > yielded three names that we are reasonably confident can pass the more

    > stringent trademark test that is presently underway. Now, we need your 


    > We've set up a Google Form poll to gather community input on which of

    > these three names might be most preferred by a plurality of members.

    > Please follow the link 

    > complete the poll per the instructions there. Voting is open through

    > 08:00 UTC on Thursday, February 15. We'll announce the winner next week,

    > pending the aforementioned trademark counsel review.


    > Thanks for participating!




    >                Greg




    > _______________________________________________

    > Dev mailing list





    Dev mailing list<>

Dev mailing list<><>

Please refer to
for important disclosures regarding this electronic communication.

Dev mailing list

Reply via email to