Citrix to update the Xen trademark policy

More than one year ago the Xen trademark became the major topic of discussion when talking about the relationship between XenSource, owning the rights at that time, and other companies adopting the open source hypervisor (Virtual Iron and Red Hat in particular).

Now Citrix, which obtained the Xen trademark after the XenSource acquisition, is about to update the use right policy as reported by Stephen Spector, Senior Program Manager of, on the corporate blog.

While re-shaping the trademark policy around the community feedbacks, Citrix legal department is concerned about the uncontrolled use of Xen-something terms and may prohibit too open terms:

…Citrix believes, and hopes that the community understands, that use of other Xen-combined names might confuse potential users  of Citrix-sourced products as to the source of a particular product or service. Since all Xen-based commercial products on the market today (of which Citrix is aware) from other vendors are all non-Xen branded, Citrix believes that this is the appropriate time to clarify this issue.

For example, an ISV may create a service for registering servers running Xen and decide to call the service “XenRegister”.  A reasonable IT consumer could be confused and assume that the XenRegister service is sourced by XenSource and Citrix.  Instead, the ISV could call their service, for example, “VM Registration for the Xen® hypervisor” or “MegaRegister™ for Xen®,” or any other name which is in keeping with the Xen Trademark Policy and does not reasonably confuse an IT consumer as to its source…

Spector said there is a last version of the policy coming out for community inspection. We’ll see how this issue really limited the use of the Xen trademark at that time.