XenSource enforcing Xen trademark?

Quoting from SearchServerVirtualization:

“I’ve been asked by XenSource’s lawyers not to say the word that begins with ‘X’ since they own that word outright,” said Mike Grandinetti, chief marketing officer at Virtual Iron Software in Lowell, Mass.

According to Grandinetti, XenSource’s lawyers “dropped a bomb” on the Xen community last month when they announced that “you’ll have to pay to certify your apps against our test suite, and you’ll have to pay us some more to use the name,” Grandinetti said.

Simon Crosby, CTO at XenSource, disputes the notion that XenSource asked Virtual Iron to pay for the right to the Xen brand. “It’s not a money-making thing whatsoever,” Crosby said. “It’s about protecting the community.”.

But Red Hat Inc., too, seems to be backing off any Xen nomenclature. While Red Hat’s Web site hasn’t been entirely stripped of the word Xen, the word is nowhere to be found under Red Hat’s virtualization page…

Read the original article at source.

Simon Crosby replied accuses on his corporate blog with a strong refute:

XenSource is the legal owner of the Xen(tm) trademark. Xen is a code base for a freely available, industry standard hypervisor that is licensed under GPL and developed collaboratively by a community of contributors using the open source model.

Naturally, since Xen is delivered to market by many vendors, many of them want to state that their product includes Xen. That way, they get to benefit from the brand awareness and customer preference that has arisen from the tremendous following associated with the Xen project. The XenSource trademark policy for the Xen brand was designed to allow any vendor that faithfully implements the Xen hypervisor to qualify, free of charge, to use of the “includes Xen” logo on its products, and to state textually that their product includes Xen. XenSource is no different than any other vendor in this regard.

The Virtual Iron hypervisor is not the Xen hypervisor – it’s a proprietary product (some of which is open sourced because they use bits & pieces of Xen code). Virtual Iron has not yet made any significant contributions back to the Xen community. Presumably they believe this gives them an edge in the market. Maybe it does. But if that’s the case, I don’t understand why they don’t just stand up and say so, rather than trying to jump on the Xen brand-wagon…