Pre-amble: I post this as a principal in a decently-sized Zope-focused
business in the UK. Our company is also partnering with ZEA for some
work. I will try to correct some of Rob's factual errors, and set the
record straight for some of the issues discussed here.

I am not an official spokesperson of ZEA, though - so bear in mind
that what I'm saying here reflects what *I* (and my company) think
about the situation, and not what ZEA thinks. I know a bit about why
the decision to register the trademarks in Europe was made, why the
managing partners of ZEA authorised it, and what's going on on the
other side of the fence. I am reasonably neutral, though - and care
more about what happens to Zope the *community* than anything else.

 - Matt Hamilton, Netsight

On Wed, 20 Jul 2005 01:07:25 +0200, Rob Page <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

>  We are sorely disappointed that
> ZEA is unwilling to transfer the marks quickly and
> quietly so that we can proceed swiftly toward the
> formation of the Zope Foundation.

This is wrong. ZEA offered you to transfer the trademarks if you
covered the expenses involved in the registration (including the
salary of the trademark professionals involved in the registration
process), no strings attached - but Zope Corporation declined, and was
more interested in sending threatening letters about trademark abuse,
even though ZEA is the rightful owner of these marks in Europe at the
moment. They were more interested in having the matter resolved
*their* way than to cover the actual costs involved in registering the
trademarks from ZEA's side.

> We have offered to reimburse the registration fees paid
> by the ZEA to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property
> Organization) in order to facilitate the transfer. We
> have further offered to preserve their license to use
> the Zope mark in the conduct of their business as an
> association of Zope companies.

Aidan McGuire of Blue Fountain (another UK zope company), Xavier Heymans (of ZEA) and myself had a conference call with Lois Snitkoff from ZC on the 12th of July in which we offered to transfer the trademark if ZC contribute to the fees of the registration and, in the unwillingness to transfer the trademark to the ZF, at least agree to some form of 'social contract' that states the uses and rights of the mark. After consulting with others within ZC Lois' reply stated:

"Just to let you know quickly, we will not be paying any of the
costs incurred when you registered our trademark. I have checked
with management and they reiterate what our position has been

Which directly contradicts what is said above.

> In the three weeks since learning of ZEA's illegitimate
> registration of our marks we have tried diligently (but
> unsuccessfully) to get ZEA to unconditionally transfer
> the rights of the registration.

The registrations were not illegitimate, the Zope trademark was not
registered anywhere but in the US at this point, so it was done as a
defensive move to make sure the trademark was in friendly hands. In
Europe you have companies/trademarks like ZOPEN that could have been
problematic for the registration and approval, so a decision was made
early on to secure the trademark for the Zope *community*.

The companies that constitute ZEA make up a large part of the
professional Zope companies in Europe, and they have a lot to lose by
the brand being insecure in Europe.

And in what way does not accepting ZEA's offer, to transfer the
trademark to you by covering the costs involved in the registration,
constitute "try diligently"?

> ZEA's registration represents an abuse of registration
> and management of international trademarks and the
> misappropriation of a mark that is clearly the property
> of Zope Corporation.

So why is Zope Foundation being used as a pawn in the corporate
strategies of Zope Corporation? I find this unclear intent pretty

> We know that the establishment of a fair trademark
> license for the entire Zope community is an _essential_
> component of the Zope Foundation. It is possible that
> we will come to a conclusion with the ZEA prior to the
> conclusion of a trademark dispute process.

So why are you unwilling to put the Zope trademark under the ownership
of Zope *Foundation*? Again, Zope Foundation is being used as a pawn
in the company strategies of Zope Corporation.

> As an aside, the ZEA has also registered the Plone logo
> as a trademark.  It is not our business, but came as a
> surprise to us, that the Plone Foundation is not the
> owner of the Plone trademark.

Not true. ZEA's trademark experts helped Plone Foundation register the
Plone trademark initially, and promptly transferred the ownership of
the trademarks to the Plone Foundation, just as they are willing to do
the same for Zope Foundation.

Personally, I find it interesting that Zope Corporation insists on
ownership of the trademark instead of putting it in the Foundation.
The moment Zope Corporation goes bankrupt, any company can buy the
remnants and name their interesting Java/.NET technology "Zope", and
use the brand recognition to their advantage.

Additionally, Zope Corporation is free to grant a company *exclusive*
usage of the trademark "Zope" in any country. Say, for example that
they decided to partner with a UK company to provide Zope services in
the UK - that company could be granted exclusive rights to use the
trademark Zope in that country, which I'm sure a lot of companies
would have an issue with. After all, they have spent all this time
building the brand of a competitor. This is very unfair to the
companies that have spent time and effort building the Zope brand -
which should be collectively owned by the community - hence Zope

If your trademark protection is supposed to make any sense, Zope
*Foundation* should have ownership of the trademark - not Zope
Corporation. ZEA at this moment represents more of the Zope community
than Zope Corporation does.

I find it a sad state of affairs when Zope Corporation has to resort
to these tactics instead of seeking an amiable resolution to the
matters when a solution is available.


Matt Hamilton                                       [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Netsight Internet Solutions, Ltd.        Business Vision on the Internet                             +44 (0)117 9090901
Web Design | Zope/Plone Development & Consulting | Co-location | Hosting
Zope maillist  -
**   No cross posts or HTML encoding!  **
(Related lists - )

Reply via email to