The updated Xen Trademark Policy based on your feedback is almost complete and ready for final community inspection; however, I did get a response from Citrix about the decision to restrict usage of the Xen name in products. Please feel free to add comments or send me any questions. Thanks.
The comment from Citrix legal is as follows:
Citrix, in conjunction with the Xen AB, seeks to protect the trademarks associated with the open source XenÂ® hypervisor in order to both strengthen the publicâ€™s identification of the Xen marks and prevent the widespread and unregulated use that can sometimes lead to trademark genericide.Â This is for the benefit of all those in the Xen community who distribute and contribute to the open source project, and not just for the benefit of Citrix.Â It is for these reasons that the Xen Trademark Policy was originally put forward.
With respect to the limited restriction on product names combining â€œXenâ€ with another name, Citrix believes this restriction is in keeping with XenSource, Incâ€™s longstanding use of â€œXenâ€ in the names of the company (â€œXenSourceâ„¢â€) and its flagship product (â€œXenServerâ„¢â€), which is now marketed by Citrix.Â Citrix believes, and hopes that the community understands, that use of other Xen-combined names might confuse potential usersÂ 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 â€œXenRegisterâ€.Â A reasonable IT consumer could be confused and assume that the XenRegister service is sourced by XenSource and Citrix.Â Instead, the ISV could call their service, for example, â€œVM Registration for the XenÂ® hypervisorâ€ or â€œMegaRegisterâ„¢ for XenÂ®,â€ 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.
Ultimately, the Xen Trademark Policy benefits all those who use or assist in the development of the XenÂ® hypervisor, in part by maintaining the value of the Xen Marks.Â Citrix must police the marks in accordance with the Policy and in conjunction with the Xen AB in order for everyone to see value in their use as product identifiers.Â Otherwise, the trademark can become a generic term (see escalator or aspirin in the U.S.) at which point anyone could call their hypervisor â€œxenâ€ regardless of the source of the hypervisor.