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BPEL, TIBCO and trademarking the English language

Issue 202 in the BPEL TC is a demand from Tibco that the BPEL TC change the word 'rendezvous' that is used as the value of an attribute in the BPEL programming language because Tibco has trademarked the word 'rendezvous'. To be clear, trademarks do not apply to 'descriptive' uses and that is exactly how BPEL uses the term 'rendezvous'. So legally speaking Tibco most likely doesn't have a leg to stand on. I do have sympathy for Tibco because one is required to 'vigorously' enforce a trademark in order to keep it. So to protect their trademark they need to be seen to be defending it, hence issue 202. But now people in the group are scared that Tibco will sue them (or their employer) if we don't change the term. Hopefully the group will stand up for the freedom to use the English language and reject issue 202 on next week's call. An even better outcome would be a change in the law that would make it illegal to get a Trademark on a common English word. The fact that Tibco could trademark the word 'rendezvous' and then try to banish its use from technical efforts is insane.


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