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Python Trademark Filer Ignorant of Python? 261

Posted by Soulskill
from the everybody-makes-mistakes dept.
WebMink writes "Is it possible that the CEO of the company that's trying to file a trademark on 'Python' was unaware of Python's importance as a programming technology? That's what he claims — despite running a hosting company that's trying to break into cloud computing, where Python is used extensively. Still, he also regards the Python Software Foundation as a hostile American company and thinks that getting attention from half the world's geeks is a DDoS. From the article: '[The CEO, Tim Poultney,] confirmed that he'd not involved any technical staff in the decisions he'd made about the Python product brand, and told me he regretted that as it would probably have helped him understand the likely reaction to his trademark challenge. ... He said he now understood how offended the global developer community are and told me there was obviously only one outcome that was now possible.'"
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Python Trademark Filer Ignorant of Python?

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  • by similar_name (1164087) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @08:57PM (#42951155)

    ... He said he now understood how offended the global developer community are and told me there was obviously only one outcome that was now possible.'"

    Resignation?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As a young wannabe programmer, I feel that this company has to be pretty clueless to be in the computing business and not know about one of the most popular programming languages today. The fact that it uses the largely meaningless and sensationalistic "cloud computing" buzzword also harms its credibility.

    • by nametaken (610866) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:05PM (#42951221)

      The fact that it uses the largely meaningless and sensationalistic "cloud computing" buzzword also harms its credibility.

      That's a hard case to make nowadays, whether we like it or not. Not having heard of Python is ridiculous though.

    • by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruising-slashdot&yahoo,com> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:09PM (#42951257) Homepage Journal

      Much though I despise the term, "cloud computing" is not meaningless or even sensationalistic, and there are some very big companies who have built their success on cloud computing. It is, perhaps, over-hyped and watered down, and it's undeniably a buzzword. It's also pretty misunderstood, as you yourself are evidence of (the basic concept is simply "hosted computing services"). However, to say you think a company lacks credibility because they speak of cloud computing is, frankly, idiotic.

      The first part of your post makes sense, though. I could understand a company that wasn't deeply involved with computer software might not be aware of a programming language, even a common one, although you'd think they might make at least a trivial web search. However, for a software-focused company to be unaware of Python's importance is, frankly, unbelievable. This guy is just trying to pull whatever damage control he can.

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:12PM (#42951757) Homepage Journal

        Ironically, you misdescribed cloud computing. It's pay as you go hosted clustered computing services. Each of these things has been around and many combinations of these things have been tried before, and really most scientific computing had become like this before anyone was calling it cloud computing.

        • by Fnkmaster (89084)

          Cloud computing definitely doesn't have to be pay-as-you-go. The pay-as-you-go hosted computing services are certainly banner examples of "cloud computing" but they are by no means the only thing that can be accurately described as "cloud computing".

      • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @02:07AM (#42953091)
        I work for a company deeply involved with software (us being a web design/hosting company) but that doesn't mean that my boss has any idea of how software or the internet works. He has another (non-tech) company and at some point decided that instead of paying someone to build him a website he'd hire a couple techies and open a web design company, leaving the implementation to us while making all the business decisions.

        Yes, that leads to a things like deciding that mobile websites are "a big new thing" (which happened last week) and not understanding responsive design despite us explaining it to him several times. At this point we're implementing responsive design and will be selling it as if it was a separate mobile website (complete with a second contract and everything) because that's easier than convincing the boss that it's just a bit of CSS that we can include and exclude at our convenience. The second contract was a business decision made without any input from the developers and we just have to make it happen.

        I'm already looking forward to someone canceling their regular contract but wanting to keep their "mobile website". Bonus points if they expect their "mobile website" to remain at the same domain as their new, externally-hosted website. But hey, mobile websites are the future.

        So yeah, cluelessness in your field of business is very much possible and is not antithetical to success.
    • by TENTH SHOW JAM (599239) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:26PM (#42951405) Homepage

      Never knock cloud computing. Whilst I am thinking through strategies to crack problems I will often stare at the clouds out my window. This is neither meaningless nor sensationalist.

      The nice thing about cloud computing is you can do it anywhere where you have a clear view of the sky. It can sometimes work with just photographs of the sky.

      • by arth1 (260657)

        The nice thing about cloud computing is you can do it anywhere where you have a clear view of the sky.

        Not necessarily. Some places, you won't see a cloud at all for most of the year. Death Valley and Bouvet Island being two examples. Beijing being another.

  • Hanlon's razor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MCROnline (1027312) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @08:58PM (#42951165)
    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:00PM (#42951177) Journal
    The article seems to end on a cliffhanger. What outcome is the article writer referring to? There are many that spring to mind.
  • by LesFerg (452838) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:02PM (#42951199) Homepage

    If I was registering a new company, the last thing I would want to give my company or servers etc is a name that already pulls up millions of pages in a simple web search.
    It just sounds like somebody was clueless and doesn't even know how people find services on the internet these days.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

      with enough adwords dollars, he could still dominate that keyword.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      If I was registering a new company, the last thing I would want to give my company or servers etc is a name that already pulls up millions of pages in a simple web search.
      It just sounds like somebody was clueless and doesn't even know how people find services on the internet these days.

      Clueless management? Clueless CEO? Tell me it isn't so!

  • do it (Score:4, Funny)

    by ewertz (1191025) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:08PM (#42951245)
    Suicide would be the only honorable thing to do at this point. By reptilian strangulation would be appropriate.
  • The Real WTF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot @ u b e rm00.net> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:09PM (#42951253) Homepage Journal

    [The CEO, Tim Poultney,] confirmed that he'd not involved any technical staff in the decisions he'd made about the Python product brand

    Seriously? I know a lot of CEOs have more branding experience than many developers but making single-minded decisions about your company's future, with no input from those who are likely to be affected most by those decisions, does not sound like the thinking of a leader.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      The more people involved; the greater the cost of making the decision. Branding is mostly a marketing thing, so they probably involved the marketing department, but not engineering.

      What legitimate reason would there be to go ask Engineers to approve a marketing decision, wasting their time and energy? The CEO probably didn't think of one, so he didn't ask... it probably would have been fine, if the proper research had been done -- you don't need an engineer to identify Python as a bad name, you need m

      • Surely they had lawyers pouring over it... didn't *they* notice?

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        ... because the engineering department would have brought up such a potential issue, before the CEO made himself and his company look like a bunch of fools?

    • by fermion (181285)
      If a CEO cannot, does not, Google the name of the company, this is a severe lack of due diligence. I do not see how they got funding without looking at branding and the indirect competition the branding might cause.

      Look at the Apple Store situation [slashdot.org]. Think about SEO and how difficult it is going to be to get a the top of a page.The security company that is 30 years old isn't on the top of the page in my browser. And the snake is on the second page. Again, who is going to invest with SEO challenges like

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      IT staff are generally not affected by the branding one way or the other and it would be an incredibly rare occurrence for them to ever be involved. Even in this instance the IT staff are not affected by the branding, they just would have been able to advise on how bad a branding choice it was.
    • Seriously? I know a lot of CEOs have more branding experience than many developers but making single-minded decisions about your company's future, with no input from those who are likely to be affected most by those decisions, does not sound like the thinking of a leader.

      Single mindedness may be a stretch.

  • by steveha (103154) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:22PM (#42951369) Homepage

    CEO, Tim Poultney: All right, we'll call it a draw.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKhEw7nD9C4 [youtube.com]

  • An attorney is ignorant. No news here. Move along.

  • and instead should be legally and scientifically classified as some sort of vermin.

    • by codegen (103601)

      and instead should be legally and scientifically classified as some sort of vermin.

      Which of course are food for pythons!!

  • by White Flame (1074973) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:38PM (#42951493)

    The Python compiler is the native code compiler used in (likely) the most popular Common Lisp implementation on the planet, SBCL. It was originally part of CMUCL, which SBCL initially forked from, and predated "that other scripting language".

    It's not that hard to coexist with conflicting names, if you're not an idiot. Obviously, that's not the case with this CEO, and Tim Poultney's name will be linked to this asinine attempt at overreach for the foreseeable future.

    • It is hard to co-exist when you're dealing with registered trademarks. If you don't actively defend it, you lose it.

  • Why didn't the Python foundation just trademark first? Whats clearly happening is that the foundation is crying home to mommy because they waited on getting the trademark, well to bad, you lost deal with it.
  • We do want him off the internet and it is a DDoS.

    What a piece of...

  • Poke the snake and get bitten.

  • American? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xtifr (1323) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @01:47AM (#42952989) Homepage

    I'd say the fact that he thinks Python-the-language is something American is proof that he's pretty much completely unaware of it. Unless Holland was annexed by the US recently, while I wasn't looking, I think it's Dutch. :)

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

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