On March 22, 2013, The Python Software Foundation (PSF) and the UK technology firm Veber reached a quick and undisputed agreement about the branding of a new Veber product. Under the terms of the settlement, PO Box Holdings, a subsidiary of Veber, halted its trademark filing for its Python European cloud computing label and agreed not to contest PO Box Holdings’ name trademark.
Instead, Veber will launch a new and different brand to be associated with its Europeans business. PSF uses its own Python brand to refer to a programming language used by the company in Europe. Although the python.co.uk domain name is not in use, the domain is registered to PO Box Holdings., Ltd.
Open Source Programming Language
According the PDF, “Python is an open source programming language widely used as a scripting language for web applications, with users including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and NASA, as well as Our Holdings itself.” Veber’s use of the name to describe its European cloud program was bound to create misunderstandings between customers of both companies.
Domain Name Expired
Veber had attempted to claim the expired python.co.uk domain and use the brand name to market its cloud services throughout Europe. PSF has many customers who were outraged at the intrusion. Prompted by a PR campaign headed by upper management, Veber received an onslaught of negative feedback, causing the company’s site to shut down.
PSF originally filed a complaint last year when Veber announced plans to launch the “Python Cloud.” Tensions peaked in February when PSF published a blog post calling for assistance from its followers. Veber managing director, Tim Poultney finally ended the drama in March saying, “The use of the Python name for our cloud server and backup business has ceased with the services now available in Europe from Veber. This agreement will remove potential confusion between the Python software language and our cloud services business.”
PSF CEO Van Lindberg was quick to thank his Python community, saying, “their immense outpouring of support throughout the dispute, both financially and through the letter writing campaign undertaken by organisations across European Union member states” had swayed the fight. There seemed little doubt that the use of the term Python Cloud would have infringed upon the trademark, despite the inactivity of the domain name.
In terms of marketing, sometimes these negatives turn into positives very quickly. If nothing else, the controversy has certainly drawn attention to Veber’s new European cloud service.
- Python Software Foundation Reaches Settlement, Ends Trademark Dispute (pyfound.blogspot.com)
- Settlement Secures Python Name For Language (i-programmer.info)
- Python Software Foundation Settles UK Trademark Dispute (techweekeurope.co.uk)