Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Netsaint: another trademark casualty?

By thunderbee in Technology
Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:10:48 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Ethan Galstad, the author of the well-known (and I guess widely-used) network monitor NetSaint, has received an e-mail by the attorneys for Richard S. Carson & Associates, Inc. in which they claimed that there is likely to be confusion between "NetSaint" and World Wide Digital Security, Inc.'s SAINT trademark.


World Wide Digitial Security, Inc. is a spin-off of Richard S. Carson & Associates, Inc. They want him to stop using the name (and domain name) netsaint (.org).

Ethan explains every detail on his site, and set up a legal fund.

He's also looking for other computer products using the word Saint in their name.

While nothing new (this kind of tactics has been going on for some time now), I strongly feel for this case because NetSaint is a tool I (among others) use everyday. Our whole network is monitored by netsaint, with efficiency and a great look ;-)

While this story as such has no value (the topic has been discussed over and over) I believe the project desserves all the help it can get.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Should I have a poll with this story?
o Yes of course! 30%
o Yes 2%
o I don't care 12%
o No 18%
o Certainly not! 24%
o Is that a joke? 14%

Votes: 50
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o NetSaint
o his site
o legal fund
o Also by thunderbee


Display: Sort:
Netsaint: another trademark casualty? | 12 comments (12 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Huh? (3.00 / 4) (#1)
by UrLord on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:22:33 AM EST

Do people really get confused about these things? SAINT and netsaint are obviously 2 different products. The whole OpenSSH vs SSH debate was another one. One minute of research and even some of the slowest techies out there can tell the difference. Are these types of things more geared toward management who (a lot, not all) will not take the minute out of thier busy schedules to do the necessary research? I just don't get it...

We can't change society in a day, we have to change ourselves first from the inside out.

It's the 'New Economy' strategy (3.00 / 1) (#3)
by Glacky on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 05:34:49 AM EST

...sue the pants off anyone with a similar name to your [inferior|unrelated|joke] product, website, business plan, or dictionary word.

I personally would *love* to see a .tm TLD, for people wishing to have trademark name sites. although even that would cause problems, as I'm fairly sure you can trademark the same name if its in a totally different market sector.

When will the corporations realise they don't own the Internet?

[ Parent ]
Turkmenistan? (3.50 / 2) (#4)
by ambrosen on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 06:09:46 AM EST

There already is a .tm domain, I think it's just not that well used at the minute

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#12)
by UrLord on Sun Apr 08, 2001 at 04:32:50 AM EST

I guess this is why Im a techie and hate management... *shrug*

We can't change society in a day, we have to change ourselves first from the inside out.
[ Parent ]

This Story Has Much Value (4.00 / 2) (#2)
by Jambu on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:40:42 AM EST

Was that a funny nod at false modesty; "this story has no value." This sort of topic SHOULD be discussed over and over. It should not be taken lying down this, this corporate carving up of the languages of the world into allowable and not-allowable word strings. NetSaint asks for info helping them and I'll email this link to them www.whois.net Search results "4002 limit reached" for .com .net and .org names with the SAINT word string. Case closed.
What makes this almost funny is the wwdsi.com/saint/ site "The Security Administrator's Integrated Network Tool (SAINT<sup>TM</sup>), an updated and enhanced version of SATAN".

I will forgive you SAINT<sup>TM</sup> until your seventh generation, only if you apologise for this (I know it is not a formal claim yet, but its still rude).


Never ceases to amaze me (3.00 / 3) (#5)
by RangerBob on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:03:43 AM EST

I'm always amazed that people can run around saying "people are confusing you with us" arguments. I wish that you would have to present some evidence that this is the case, and you can't use your own employees or insane people as witnesses. I can remember when I was a kid and the local McDonalds was upset because there was a McDonalds clothing store in town. Nevermind the fact that the clothing store had been there since the early 1900's and that only a complete and total idiot would confuse the two. I hope that eventually this silliness will stop, but I don't think it will be antime soon since our legal system just doesn't work.

First we'll kill all the lawyers... (2.00 / 5) (#6)
by technik on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:03:45 AM EST

Barring that, we must refuse to lie down when these idiots try to conflate the rights they have on their trademark with new ones not granted to them. It's part of larger intellectual property issues and the lawyers- possibly without the knowledge of the company officers- pursue these things without ever establishing that confusion has or will occur. They are gambling that the cost and time involved in trademark litigation, even if it goes against them, will scare the little guys off. The problem is that they go from a case like this- a simple, well-understood trademark conflict- to asserting that such things as domain names are within their purview by virtue of holding a similar trademark.

See Theo DeRaadt's episode regarding Theos.com. Whether or not you personally like Theo or OpenBSD, his case is a good example and probably

First we'll kill all the lawyers... (3.33 / 3) (#7)
by technik on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:04:38 AM EST

Barring that, we must refuse to lie down when these idiots try to conflate the rights they have on their trademark with new ones not granted to them. It's part of larger intellectual property issues and the lawyers- possibly without the knowledge of the company officers- pursue these things without ever establishing that confusion has or will occur. They are gambling that the cost and time involved in trademark litigation, even if it goes against them, will scare the little guys off. The problem is that they go from a case like this- a simple, well-understood trademark conflict- to asserting that such things as domain names are within their purview by virtue of holding a similar trademark.

See Theo DeRaadt's episode regarding Theos.com. Whether or not you personally like Theo or OpenBSD, his case is a good example and probably an example of how this one will end up.

Think about it! (3.00 / 5) (#8)
by maarken on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:52:19 PM EST

Ok, this is just silly. Now, I can see how this *might* be a remotely, half-way argument if this was some consumer product, but have these people looked at the demographics of the people that use this stuff? These are people that are used to seeing the diffrent between 2.4.0pre1ac4 and 2.4.0pre1ac3! I kind of doubt they'll confuse NetSaint and SAINT. See the lack of "Net" there? Same thing with OpenSSH and SSH. Do those look *remotely* close to anyone?

Grrr, stupid PR monkeys.

Maarken

Flip the symbols in my email.
Okay so roll up your sleeves (2.33 / 3) (#9)
by wytcld on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:49:11 PM EST

... and put together draft legislation that would preserve trademarks in some narrow sense, while preventing trademark holders from going after anything that wasn't a very close copy of their mark, applied to very similar goods or services.

The trick is it has to be a law that, if you are the trademark holder, you'll view as protecting you enough.

Of course the techno option would be to have all goods imprinted with the public key of the trademark pretender, and distribute cheap devices to customers to allow them to check that it really is a "McDonald's" they're about to eat, regulate this strictly, and beyond that, buyer beware. But would you really want to bite into a Mac with an embedded public key?

Response to challenge (4.50 / 2) (#10)
by kmself on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:35:06 PM EST

First, IANAL.

A friend of mine who is a lawyer was knocking around the idea of writing a book detailing how to respond to such threats. I still think it would be helpful for free software developers to have such a resource.

First off, a demand letter doesn't mean you have to capitulate. You should work out a response strategy. And getting legal advice is probably a good idea. If a lawyer's too steep, try starting at Nolo, for example.

One such response is evaluating the complaint itself. In the case of US trademarks, the US Patent and Trademark Office has a relatively decent website including a search engine, TESS

A search on 'saint' turns up about 1378 records. A broad defense of this mark is unlikely. Combined search 'web' and 'saint' returns one item, filed April, 1999, and registered January 23, 2001, appearing to be the complainants in the NetSaint case. Looks like these folks just got their mark and are looking to enforce it.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.

Great! (3.00 / 1) (#11)
by fsck! on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:52:41 PM EST

Funny story, this.

About a year ago, while working for a small consulting firm with 4 major clients, I drafted a design (never published) for a network monitoring suite which ended up looking a lot like NetSaint. This was of course before I had ever heard of NetSaint. The project was called Open Eyes and was to be an open source product (former employer a big linux fan). That company (with which I am still on good terms with) is not interested in developing my project, so I hereby relase the name "Open Eyes" to the fray in the hopes that it could adorn a worthy project.

It's a good name, I think. And the best thing to come out of my work on that project.

Netsaint: another trademark casualty? | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!