PostgreSQL still has problems with trademarks by the PostgreSQL Foundation

The second half of the previous year the news was released PostgreSQL was facing a problem with a third party that was trying to take over the trademarks of the “PostgreSQL Foundation” project.

And now the PGCAC (PostgreSQL Community Association of Canada), representing the PostgreSQL community and acting on behalf of the PostgreSQL core team, has asked the organization PostgreSQL Foundation to keep its promises above and transfer the rights to the trademarks and domain names associated with PostgreSQL.

Well, as we mentioned, it is stated that the 14 September 2021, the day after the public disclosure of the conflict originated due to the fact that the organization Fundación PostgreSQL registered the trademarks “PostgreSQL” and “PostgreSQL Community” in Spain and requested the registration of similar trademarks in the United States and the European Union, representatives of the PostgreSQL Core Team managed to reach an agreement with the PostgreSQL Foundation.

The PostgreSQL Foundation has stated that it will begin the process of transferring all trademarks and domains to PGCAC free of charge and without conditions.

It's been 7 months since then, but the brand transfer agreement remains inconsistent. The obstacle was the intention of the PGCAC organization to compensate for the costs incurred in the course of trying to challenge the trademark applications filed. PGCAC did not seek a full refund of legal fees, but requested a refund of the trademark registration objection fee.

The organization PostgreSQL Foundation refused to pay such costs, explaining their decision by saying that they could have been avoided if PGCAC had tried to resolve the issue during direct negotiations, without involving a law firm.

During the negotiation of the draft agreement, the PostgreSQL Foundation rejected most of the conflict resolution terms and proposed adding some of its own terms, but continued to state that it would withdraw the trademark applications in any case, regardless of the conclusion of a dispute resolution. formal agreement.

PGCAC's legal counsel has spent months trying to get a response from the PostgreSQL Foundation on the terms of the settlement. When the PostgreSQL Foundation responded, it rejected most of the terms of the agreement and added a number of additional terms. However, the PostgreSQL Foundation maintained that it would withdraw the trademark applications regardless of the outcome of a formal agreement.

Ultimately, deal preparation stalled, the trademark applications are still pending, and the PostgreSQL Foundation's attorney indicated that the organization was not interested in honoring the earlier promise to remove the trademarks (it likely meant not removing the trademarks before signing a formal agreement).

PGCAC representatives urged the PostgreSQL Foundation to complete the work resolution of the conflict and fulfill the promises to withdraw trademark registrations and transfer domains to close this issue and focus on other tasks of the project.

Recall that the PGCAC organization perceived the PostgreSQL Foundation's actions as an attempt to seize the project's trademarks. But the situation is not so clear, according to the organization PostgreSQL Foundation, it acts in the interest of the community, tries to protect the PostgreSQL brand from unfair use and ensures that the trademarks are managed by a completely independent non-profit organization that is not controlled by individual companies.

The founder of the PostgreSQL Foundation did not insist on continuing ownership of the trademarks acquired and proposed the creation of a new and completely independent organization that could own all the intellectual property of the PostgreSQL project and merge the disparate assets now owned by the PGCAC, PEU (postgresql.eu) and PostgreSQL Foundation organizations.

In addition, it was proposed to form a governing council based on the PostgreSQL core team, but put it under the control of the General Assembly of a wider circle of community representatives. In its current form, part of the brands owned by the project belong to the PGCAC association in Canada, and the other part belongs to the European organization PEU, according to the PostgreSQL Foundation, these organizations duplicate their functions and have a non-transparent management.

Finally if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can check the details in the following link


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