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Old Jun 11, 2003, 08:40 PM   #1
vniow
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Apple sued over Unix trademark

Uh oh...

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As legal battles heat up over who owns the rights to the Unix operating system, another dispute has been quietly simmering over the rights to the Unix name itself.

Apple Computer is being sued by The Open Group, the San Francisco company that claims ownership of the Unix trademark, for using the term Unix in conjunction with its Mac OS X operating system without a license. Apple has countersued, asking a judge to declare that the trademark is invalid, because the term Unix has become generic.

Though initiated nearly 18 months ago, the case has not yet gone to trial. According to a motion filed with the court Tuesday, both companies want to have an exchange of factual documents completed by August, with a trial sought for February.

http://news.com.com/2100-1016-1015814.html
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 08:56 PM   #2
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hmm... well os x uses free bsd, does it not? thats open source, so i dont see how apple could be blamed... and does dilbert need licences to mention unix in their comics?
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 09:06 PM   #3
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Oh well, I think *nix should be property of everyone, seriously, it seems like everyone owns it...

'we are suing them because of the 'made from unix' label, we aren't happy about that' wtf, too bad, sue BSD, sue everyone.
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 09:12 PM   #4
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This is so dumb.

Lets see if they sue me: UNIX UNIX UNIX UNIX UNIX UNIX UNIX UNIX.

Nope, nothing yet.

Besides, doesn't Bell Labs own the Unix trademark. That's what it says in my "C" book. Then again, it is an old book....
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 09:43 PM   #5
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Seeing that Apple has never hesitated to sue anyone or issue cease orders for "talking" about Apple property I think if they're using the UNIX brand to market their product, they are, without paying they should be sued.

Just pay them and move on or stop using it.

When everyone walks around propping up OS X as being rock solid because it's build on UNIX, they are not being very generic. They are talking about something that has through years of use, created brand recognition for stability.

If there's no value then why doesn't Apple advertise it as being built on BSD? Because they're trying to cash in on the UNIX brand. Pay them.
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 10:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Computer_Phreak
hmm... well os x uses free bsd, does it not? thats open source, so i dont see how apple could be blamed... and does dilbert need licences to mention unix in their comics?
but dilbert doesnt have 4 billion dollars, its about money and apple has it.

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Old Jun 11, 2003, 11:10 PM   #7
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I always wondered, why people say UN*X and stuff. I did equate UNIX with a generic term, because all major computer manufacturers have a variant of it... HP, IBM, DIGITAL, even Apple (AIX or AUX?).

So, whatever. Just switch to saying it's based on a rock solid kernel, FreeBSD, which is a derivative of the grandaddy of all operating sytems... The geeks will know what that means, and other people really don't give a *****.
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Old Jun 11, 2003, 11:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by zarathustra
I always wondered, why people say UN*X and stuff. I did equate UNIX with a generic term, because all major computer manufacturers have a variant of it... HP, IBM, DIGITAL, even Apple (AIX or AUX?).

So, whatever. Just switch to saying it's based on a rock solid kernel, FreeBSD, which is a derivative of the grandaddy of all operating sytems... The geeks will know what that means, and other people really don't give a *****.
i disagree, i have many customers who wouldnt konw what freebsd is. but they do know what unix is, they dont know exactly what unix is, they have just heard of it and know its stable, i think saying freebsd would be a bad idea.

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Old Jun 12, 2003, 12:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by zarathustra
I always wondered, why people say UN*X and stuff. I did equate UNIX with a generic term, because all major computer manufacturers have a variant of it... HP, IBM, DIGITAL, even Apple (AIX or AUX?).
Actually, most of the major vendors (HP, IBM, Digital, Sun, SGI) have licensed the UNIX trademark from The Open Group. The term "*nix" was invented so the open source BSDs could bypass this trademark.

I would actually like to see Apple get OS X to pass the tests and license the trademark, simply because some major businesses would be impressed that it is a "real UNIX," and might be more interested in adopting it or developing software for it.

But I am a dreamer...
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 12:44 AM   #10
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Apple getting sued for using Unix

Seems like a lot of companies are trying to sue for Unix lately. Apples going to court too.

Cnet

Quote:
Apple Computer is being sued by The Open Group, the San Francisco company that claims ownership of the Unix trademark, for using the term Unix in conjunction with its Mac OS X operating system without a license. Apple has countersued, asking a judge to declare that the trademark is invalid, because the term Unix has become generic.
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 03:25 AM   #11
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Took the Open Group a while...
Go team, go!
Apple legal has been flexing its muscles recently.
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 05:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wardofsky
Took the Open Group a while...
Go team, go!
Apple legal has been flexing its muscles recently.
My understanding is, that legal battle has been going on for some time (18 months) but there's never been much publicity around it. The fact is, we are talking about a licensing fee of about USD100,000 total (peanuts for Apple), but I think the source of the problem is Apple having to ask the Open Group to rubberstamp OSX as being a Unix OS after a thorough testing. I don't think the Apple dudes want to have to get "approval" of anyone.

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Old Jun 12, 2003, 06:03 AM   #13
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The Open group also certifies that your Unix is really a unix. I think slashdot has debated this before, and most of those in the know declare it not to be a true *nix.

Don't really know myself, but it certainly does the job.

Maybe they can call it Macix, or Applix or something instead
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 06:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by funkywhat2
Besides, doesn't Bell Labs own the Unix trademark. That's what it says in my "C" book. Then again, it is an old book....
Oh, yup. That is an OLD book

Doesn't life just pass you by when you're learning C....
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 06:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by szark
Actually, most of the major vendors (HP, IBM, Digital, Sun, SGI) have licensed the UNIX trademark from The Open Group. The term "*nix" was invented so the open source BSDs could bypass this trademark.

I would actually like to see Apple get OS X to pass the tests and license the trademark, simply because some major businesses would be impressed that it is a "real UNIX," and might be more interested in adopting it or developing software for it.

But I am a dreamer...
Really, everyone that's interested in the 'Unix' side of OSX knows it's a BSD (yeah well, mostly). BSD certainly has enough kudos on it's own these days - so I've got no idea why the Apple marketing heads didn't use "built on BSD" as their catch phrase. Maybe it's because BSD is dying...
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 06:22 AM   #16
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Apple's been using that logo since OS X was introduced, IIRC. Why did it take over three years for this group to sue?

Cash crunch?

Ambulance chasing lawyer come-a-knockin'?
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 08:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Apple's been using that logo since OS X was introduced, IIRC. Why did it take over three years for this group to sue?

Cash crunch?

Ambulance chasing lawyer come-a-knockin'?
Maybe it took them that long to realize that Apple was not going to make anectdotal reference to OS X being "built on Unix" but rather, make it a major marketing point.

Actually, being "built on UNIX" is OS X's primary marketing vehicle from what I've been witnessing.

You can't have "selective" law enforcement. Expecting trademarks, copyrights, and intellectual property to only be protected when it's yours. That's *BS.

If the thing really isn't built on UNIX stop false advertising and the issue will go away.

If it is and you want to reap the benefits of the UNIX brand and tradmark, license it like everyone else and the issue will go away.

Clearly, the issue isn't the licensing fee so something else is going on here.
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Last edited by MorganX; Jun 12, 2003 at 08:42 AM.
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 09:39 AM   #18
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but they've been marketing it that way (built on unix) for the entire life of os x (more than 18 months)... so why just now? the question still stands... whether or not you think they have a legitimate case or not..
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 09:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Ambulance chasing lawyer come-a-knockin'?
Hey, I resemble that remark!

Quote:
but they've been marketing it that way (built on unix) for the entire life of os x (more than 18 months)... so why just now? the question still stands... whether or not you think they have a legitimate case or not..
It takes a significant period of time to determine if you have a legal basis for bringing a suit like that (if you don't have a legal basis, you as the attorney can be cited for sanctions), and then it takes some time to prepare a complaint. Thereafter, there is usually a period of time where there is little or no publicity because of time the defendant can answer in, preliminary challenges to the complaint, etc...

In addition, in a case like this, both plaintiffs and defendants rarely issue press releases (beyond what is required by the SEC) because they do not want to be accused of interfering with the other party's business.

The other comment earlier dealt with what the other issue was if they refused to pay the licensing fee. Trademarks can be thrown out if the trademarked term becomes so commonly associated with a generic item, that the trademark loses its value. Two examples are xerox and kleenex. For years, both had lost their trademark protection because of common usage. Apple may have refused to pay the licensing fee in order to have the ability to challenge the trademark.

Last edited by mcrain; Jun 12, 2003 at 09:56 AM.
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 10:56 AM   #20
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Apple should just pay the $100,000 license fee. They will save alot in legal fees, and can put the issue behind them!
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 11:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by wdlove
Apple should just pay the $100,000 license fee. They will save alot in legal fees, and can put the issue behind them!
But it isn't that simple.

They can't license the trademark unless The Open Group certifies through testing that it is indeed a "true UNIX." Apple may have to make changes to the operating system in order to be able to pass testing, and they probably aren't willing to do that.
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 11:57 AM   #22
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Hmm maybe I should sue Apple.. I've heard Steve Jobs use the word "Cool" on numerous occasions when talking about Apple products, and I am so cool I have "cool" trademarked.
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Old Jun 13, 2003, 01:24 AM   #23
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Come on now, this is a publicity stunt. Somewhat free publicity. Keeping the neame in the headline and reinforcing the unix connection. They are not denying the connection, just the validity of the trademark. If anything this is getting the unix name out there even more.

go apple...
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Old Jun 13, 2003, 09:15 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by mim
The Open group also certifies that your Unix is really a unix. I think slashdot has debated this before, and most of those in the know declare it not to be a true *nix.

Don't really know myself, but it certainly does the job.

Maybe they can call it Macix, or Applix or something instead
OS X would never pass a suite of tests for UNIX. I have always thought it was a stretch for Apple to be referencing UNIX with respect to OS X. To be accurate, OS X is a derivative of the NeXT OS which is based on the Mach kernel developed at Carnegie Mellon University.

This isn't about paying to use UNIX but having OS X survive the Open Groups rigorous testing to be declared a true UNIX.
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Old Jun 13, 2003, 10:01 AM   #25
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Ever heard of a company called SCO (formally Caldera).

They are suing IBM saying that IBM (and also other linux programmers) have stolen UnixWare code.

When I saw the title of this topic on the main macrumors.com page, I thought that the same was happening with Apple as SCO has issued notices to linux users (probely corporate users as I haven't received one yet) saying stop using linux as it has stolen code.

And by the looks of things SCO has used GPL'd code

If you want more information on this matter head over to www.linux.org and view the news section (and browse to 1-2 months back).

At least SCO isn't claming Apple stole code.
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