Python Software Foundation wins a battle for the Python name

Outcry from Python community convinces hosting company to stop attempt to trademark the Python name in Europe

The Python Software Foundation (PSF) announced it has reached a settlement with POBox Hosting Ltd. of the United Kingdom over the latter's trademark application for the term "Python" in connection with cloud hosting and its application for a figurative trademark in Europe incorporating the word "Python." While the PSF owns the trademark for Python within the United States, it did not have an equivalent filing within the European Union.

Inexplicably unaware of the importance of the Python language to its customers, POBox Hosting had been engaged in an escalating dispute with the PSF -- a nonprofit association with minimal staff -- until the matter became public. Swift and intense public interest from around the world helped POBox Hosting to quickly understand the mistake it was making, and within days it had stopped applying the Python name to its products and was in negotiation with the PSF.

I askedTim Poultney, CEO of POBox Hosting, if there was any decisive factor in the change of heart. "There were many different factors that were taken into consideration, including the community to whom we would like to extend our thanks for the many supportive emails we are now receiving," he said.

The terms of the settlement have not been made public, but according to Poultney do not include transfer of the domain to the PSF. It remains the property of a shell company that shares management and a registered address with POBox Hosting. Poultney (also a director of the shell company) did not share the reason for this, or the plans for future use of the domain name.

Meanwhile, the PSF is satisfied with the outcome, having ensured there will be no confusion over the meaning of "Python" in Europe. Van Lindberg, chairman of the PSF, said he's grateful for the enormous support the organization has received from the global community, and said there was no longer a need for proof of the PSF's usage of the term "Python" in Europe.

This story, "Python Software Foundation wins a battle for the Python name," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform