Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Adobe Threatens KIllustrator Over Name 602

Moritz Moeller - Her writes: "Evidently Adobe -- yes the Adobe that has not ported a single application apart from its PDF Reader to Linux -- sees a threat in KDE. They claim that the Koffice vector based drawing program Killustrator violates their trademark for Adobe Illustrator. Here is the mail on koffice-devel. The company demands 2500 EUR from the developer, maybe someone can help with the legal expenses here? The web site for Killuistrator has been put down for the moment. Shouldn't generic descriptive terms like 'explorer,' 'illustrator' 'word' and 'paint' be free for all to use? Nobody called the program Kadobe! I think it is time for some pressure on Adobe ... "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Adobe Threatens KIllustrator

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:31AM (#113464)
    Anything else Killistrator could have stood for?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:21AM (#113465)
    It's very true that patents/trademarks are being abused a lot these days, but in this case the KIllustrator name is ACTUALLY confusing. Common word or not, "Illustrator", in drawing programs, equals a quality product.

    Adobe did work a long time for that connection, and even though it may help users figure out what the program is meant to do, it's pretty much like advertising a product to the Linux community that you say is "OGPL licensed", which has nothing to do with GPL (the "O" carries with it terms such as giving up your firstborn and your soul), but you wanted to keep the name similar to GPL so people would recognize it was a license of some sort.

    In their purest and most proper forms, trademarks and patents DO protect companies and products from people trying to save time on brand-building. They are not categorically wrong out of the gate.

    Besides, if you make something really that good for an audience that has no other alternatives, you could name it "P1-588" and it would still be popular. The free ride on KIllustrator is ending, but if it's really that good, a defiant name change will make it more widely known.
  • ::activates information leafblower::

    The first generation of Power Macs had these development codenames: The 6100 was Piltdown Man, the 7100 was Carl Sagan, and the 8100 was Cold Fusion. Note that #1 and #3 are famous hoaxes. Carl Sagan was not happy about the implications and demanded that his name be removed. Apple changed the codename to BHA, told him it was "random letters", and Sagan backed off. Later it became known, probably not directly from Apple, that BHA stood for Butt Head Astronomer.


  • In this case "Illustrator" is a very accurate description of what the program does. That can be a defense against a trademark infringement suit. The word "adobe" is common, but not in relation to software. "Adobe" is not a descriptive term and bears no relation to what the software company does.

  • by defile ( 1059 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:40AM (#113468) Homepage Journal

    Even commercial products aren't original, compare Microsoft Office

    • Corel Office
    • StarOffice
    • KOffice
    • Open Office (??)

    Exactly what is wrong with the K Desktop Environment appending a K if everyone else appends their company name?

    Personally, I think KDE Office sounds better than KOffice. But that's not my decision :)

    Perhaps Adobe shouldn't have chosen to make a brand out of such a generic word?

  • "Dodge" is a fairly common word, yet do you believe you could get away by starting a car company named "Dodger"

    No, but I expect that you can have 'Ford Motor company', 'General Motors', 'American Motor Corp.' etc. coexist quite nicely. Some how, millions of brand loyal car buyers have managed to not be confused for all of these years. How about 'Kmart' and 'Walmart'?

    So, Wal-mart, K-mart: Adobe Illustrator, K Illustrator.

  • Not content to merelly toss a K in front of application names, the KDE project is now changing its name to "Kmicrosoft," and the desktop environment formerlly known as KDE will become "Kmicrosoft Kwindows," while Konqueror will become "Kmicrosoft Kexplorer."

    This is seen as a significant advance in helping users find the programs they want.

    In related news, the programmer formerly known as "Linus Torvalds" will henceforth be known as "Kbill Kgates" . . .


  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:33AM (#113472) Homepage
    Rather than trying to convince the trademark offices that various words shouldn't be trademarked, why can't the various open-source projects come up with more original project names? I'm sick of seeing KOffice and thinking to myself, "Oh, it's just a clone of MS Office" or seeing "GAIM" and thinking to myself, "Oh, it's a GTK version of AIM." KDE seems to be the worst offender in this category.

    Not only will you avoid these types of pointless lawsuits, but you'll stop enforcing the MegaCorp's brand strength and start developing some for Linux apps. Pick an original name and quit crying when someone gives you a little legal nudge over your blatant copying of their property.
  • I agree completely. We need to go beyond merely providing functional software and get serious on the feel good factor of Free Software.

    In general, we should agree on one unified brand along the lines of Win(dows) and Mac. 'Open' or 'Free' might be good, but probably already under claims of various sorts. KDE or to a lesser degree GNU would be ok.

    For your next project name, please try to refrain from using the letters x, k or g, recursive acronyms, and geek humor in general.

    Instead, try to pick something a little more uplifting. If appropriate, you can decorate your name with some qualifier at the end. What we need now is apps that fit names like KDE Aspire Pro. GNU ManageImpact. OpenImpress Developer edition. KDE Transcend Enterprise. You get the idea.
  • by Genom ( 3868 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:08AM (#113480)
    ::shrug:: It depends on how you define "market".

    If you use a broad definition: "vector drawing tools", then yes, they fall in the same market.

    If you define the markets a *little* more specifically: "vector drawing tools for linux", "free vector drawing tools", "vector drawing tools for Windows/MacOS" or "commercial vector drawing tools", they don't fit into the same market at all.

    Adobe produces no vector drawing software for Linux (AFAIK they cancelled their only Linux-based project, which was a port of Pagemaker (?) ) - so in the Linux market, their product doesn't fit. AFAIK, KIllustrator doesn't run under Windows or MacOS (with the possibility of OSX as an exception) - so it doesn't fit into Adobe's market.

    The two seem fairly well seperated to me =)
  • by jsproul ( 4589 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @12:06PM (#113481) Homepage
    At the time Adobe registered "Adobe Illustrator", there was an existing registration for "PC Illustrator" in the same field. A few years later the "PC Illustrator" mark expired and was not renewed. A few years after that, Adobe registered just plain "Illustrator". This sequence of events suggests that "Illustrator" is sufficiently weak that any prefix or postfix, except pluralisation, may be sufficient in the eyes of the USPTO.

    Is KIllustrator too close? Maybe, or maybe not. Most likely a court would rule against it because there is clear intent to ride the "goodwill" of the Illustrator mark. The above history might give you justification, though.

    The smart thing to do here is drop KIllustrator like a hot potato and choose another name. There are much better places to spend our money establishing and changing legal precedents in favour of freedom and free software.
  • If I added an "s" to the end of KIllistrator, would you say then that it's a problem? Of course you would. Why do you think adding a K to the front of Illustrator is any different?

  • I do. First of all, there are programs that prefix themselves with gnu even though they have nothing to do with GNU, like gnutella.

    Also, there is a difference between KIllustrator and Kaldera, being that "illustrator" has to do with the products function, while "Caldera" does not. I would not be opposed to a volcano-predicting program being called Caldera, because its related.
  • There seems to be a lot of confusion here about just how much protection a trademark does or doesn't give you. IANAL, but let me inject some boring ol' facts into the discussion.

    First, foremost, and most gallingly to the Slashdot-kiddie population, is that US trademark (and patent) law is based on a "use it or lose it" principle -- if, today, you fail to defend your property, you may lose the right to do so tomorrow.

    This means that Adobe may not particularly care, per se, what the KDE vector-graphics product is called, but they fear the loss of their trademark more than they fear pissing off the Linux community. This does not, IMHO, make them bad or evil, just businessmen trying to hold on to the good name they've built.

    Second, trademarks are not "global" in the sense that just because Ray Kroc trademarked "McDonald's" as a name for his burger chain, that doesn't prevent me from opening up a "McDonald's Auto Repair". Trademarks apply to a name or logo applied to a specific product or field of business. You better believe if I open up a roadside hamburger stand called McDonald's that the big chain is gonna land on me with both feet.

    Third, what does Adobe's "Illustrator" refer to? A vector-based drawing program. What does KDE's "Illustrator" refer to? You guessed it. Similar products doing similar things means that KDE knows damn well (or should know damn well) that they're on Adobe's trademark turf.

    Fourth, yes, a simple phone call might have sufficed, but a) the people who are protesting this would probably still protest even that, urging resistance and thus forcing a lawsuit anyway, and b) with reference to point 1, this may be the first real challenge Adobe's ever had on the Illustrator name, so they feel they need to act decisively to maintain their right to that name.

    A final point: precedence rules over registration. This means if some guy in 1981 wrote a program called "Illustrator", not only would he have the right to continue to use the name, he might even have the right to sue Adobe to have their trademark vacated and/or assigned to him. When businesses in unrelated fields use the same name, an understanding is often reached (cf. Apple Computer/Apple Records), amicably or by litigation, that those companies will not enter each others' arenas with the same trademark (Apple Records would not, for example, be allowed to sell "Apple" computers without clearing it with Apple Computer and probably paying a license fee first).

    Executive summary: Quit whining. A couple of thousand Euros is pretty damn cheap considering the goodwill that goes with the "Illustrator" name.

  • And if we ever get an Open Source version of FrameMaker running, it ought to be called Manual Labor!
  • Patents don't need to be defended, only trademarks do. Ketsup is a trademark lost because it wasn't defended, lwz compression in gif is still a valid patent even though it was infringed on for years and years.
  • AIM is not the name of AOL Instant Messenger, so your comment there should be taken back. AIM is an ackronymn, and everyone knows that you cannot trademark them...

    I agree completely that KIllustrator should be changed, I don't see how it really makes much of a difference to Adobe though. They should have asked nicely and it would probably have been done... Instead they had to threaten legal action and a fine.

    Get over it Adobe.
  • it seems an obvious attempt to capitalize on the name and market of adobe illustrator. I would think a simple request to change it would be first, but as many folks have stated maybe they did ask ?
  • by m0nkyman ( 7101 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @11:51AM (#113507) Homepage Journal

    No it isn't. That's why when Adobe filed their trademark, they got the whole phrase: 1noi.2.19 []
    not just the word mark 'Illustrator'. They knew that they would not get it. You can't defend what you don't have.

    On this one Adobe can go fuck themselves...

  • In doing user interfaces you need to simplify things for the user.

    Quick.. what does a program called "illustrator" do?

    it illustrates!

    Quick.. what does a program called "vektor" do?

    Quick... how many end users know what a "vector" is?

    They shouldn't have used a plain english word as their trademark.
  • 1) Time was when running Frame on anything BUT a sparcstation was Just Not Done. I think Adobe knows Unix quite well.

    2) Macromedia makes some fine competing products for the mac. Buy one of their products, then tell adobe that you went to their competition.
  • > Maybe it will be 5 years, or maybe it will be 10, but eventually all the features in Adobe Illustrator will be available in KDE Illustrator, and that will be the end of Adobe's product.

    Yes, perhaps in 10 years, KIllustrator will have all the features of a 10 year old version of Illustrator. Dunno though, I still don't see any free software as powerful as PageMaker with the features I used it for 10 years ago.
  • >Here's the real question, tho: Why do Window-hating Linux developers clone of Windows applications and technologies ? We have >clones of Word, Visio, TWAIN -- hell, KDE and Gnome often try to clone Windows, right down to the damnable "Start" button.

    Duh. Because back when Linux resembled Unix circa 1989 - that is, it ran X w/ twm or fvwm - everyone said "It's OK, but it can't run a word processor, it doesn't have a scanner interface, or an image editor beyond 'xpaint', what a P.O.S." So the community wrote them. "But windows has better ease of use". So they riffed on familiar metaphors.

    Now, its a "clone" of "damnable" technolgies. Hey, don't blame the community. The people in charge of these things - so-called pundits and experts - said this was what it took to get Linux into the enterprise, to dethrone microsoft, and to make a better world. If you want things any different, set the wayback machine for 1993, and convince the pundits otherwise. The community responded to overwhelming stimuli.

    IMHO, Windows is, was and will be a clone of the Macintosh GUI. Maybe W2k and XP are sufficiently different, I would grant that, but W3.1 was a clone of mwm and cde (look at the damn window controls!), and W95-WME are clones of Mac interfaces. NT was intended to compete with Unix, and therefore borrows many familiar aspects, same with W2k.

    Everyone riffs on everyone else. Face it.

  • by VValdo ( 10446 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:10AM (#113521)
    Good, because "GIMP" [] doesn't sound anythink like "Photoshop".

    (although abiword [] may run into trouble too.)

  • Oh, sure, maybe most of the people who hang out on Slashdot would never make such an obvious error, but lemme tell you, there are heaps of people buying software out there who don't really have any idea of what they're buying; they're relying on word-of-mouth from people who read an article in last month's PC World.

    I know this, because I sell retail software for a living.

    I get people coming in asking for "Windows 2000 Millenium Edition" every day. They think they can upgrade Windows 98 to Office 2000, or that they can't run Office 2000 because they only have Windows 98. And that's the products from one company; I get people who tell me that StarOffice is Microsoft's version of Office for Linux, and still others who ask for "Adobe" -- not "Adobe Photoshop" or "Adobe Illustrator", but "Adobe". Sure, I help straighten them out (and manage to not come off as egotistical and self-absorbed in the process, unlike so many of the people posting in this thread).

    But yeah, I can tell you there's a good chance that someone would buy SuSE Linux, because it includes KOffice and KIllustrator, and think they're getting away with murder because they they're not paying $400 for Adobe Illustrator and $500 for Microsoft Office.

    Jay (=
  • Scribe was a text-document processing system.

    Oops ... well, the comment was off the cuff and not researched, which I hope any final choice of anternative name would be.

    For Killustrator, taking from another comment discussing Hershey Kisses, why not:

    KDE Illustrations Software System - Kiss. Unless, of course, some trademark has already been filed for smooching software ...
  • You make some good points, but I think your conclusion is wrong ... not because your reasoning is wrong, but because you overlook, or perhaps just ignore, the underlying economic reality: the free software community doesn't have the money or legal resources to burn in order to fight this battle.

    Why draw the line at Illustrator? Why hasn't MS taken issue with KWord? Maybe because it's clearly not an MS product? (Hello Adobe? Paying attention? "KIllustrator" != "Adobe Illustrator"; nobody with a shred of sense would confuse the two.) Why hasn't Corel taken issue with KPresenter or StarOffice Draw?

    Somebody rein in the Adobe litigators. They seem to have too much time on their hands.

    Yes, despite the nonsense pro-intellectual property zealots have been spewing, Adobe is ethically, morally, and perhaps even legally in the wrong. But, as I said before, it is a waste of our community's limited resources to persue this sort of thing in court, especially when the legal outcome is uncertain. Keep in mind that it is large corporations, of the sort Adobe is, that purchased the original trademark laws and their subsequent "enhancements." Whether or not they've actually purchased the courts is an open question, although the DeCSS and Microsoft Appeals decisions would indicate that even the judicial branch has been largely undermined.

    Whatever one's personal beliefs on these issues, I think it stands to reason that our efforts would be far better spent coming up with a witty and unassailable naming scheme. It doesn't have to fit every kde app ever made, just the ones whose names are vulnerable to this sort of litigious thuggary.

    Of course, (re)naming KVideoEditor Spielberg might have problems all its own. :-)

    All in all, I quite like the DaVinci, Monet, and Virgil suggestions, but one need not enforce it religiously across the entire board. Kivio could for example simply be renamed KCharts ... descriptive and to the point. I would stop short of digging up famous specialists who are only famous in their field, but would argue no one would confuse the likes of Monet or DaVinci.
  • And if we ever get an Open Source version of FrameMaker running, it ought to be called Manual Labor!

    Or simply FBI, famous for numerous frameups of innocents for everything from subversion to murder ("Frame 'em Before Investigating")
  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:46AM (#113528)
    Koffice -> KDE Office Suite
    Killistrator -> VectorDraw
    kword -> Scribe
    kpaint -> Artiste

    and so on. Rather than fighting this sort of battle on their turf (yes, it is rediculous that generic words like, oh, say, "word," "illustrator," "paint," and so on are trademarked, but these large corporations have already purchased all three branches of our government rather cheaply and hold the home-court advantage in an excess of funds and lawyers to win even the most unfair and indefensible of legal fights.

    Far better to just make up unique names and spend the money that would have been spent on legal duels filing trademarks for those names instead. I'm sure numerous people would donate to such a cause.

    Anyone have any better ideas for names ... perhaps famous sketchers or draftsmen for Killustrator, famous authors for kword, famouse painters for kpaint, and so on...
  • Illustrator is a generic word, can't be trademarked. They can however act like assholes and generally just be bad corporate citizens, making life miserable for some little guy just trying to deo something good for the world. Personally, I no longer give a flying fuck about Abobe and wish them the worst.

    Was it worth it, guys?

  • by Toddarooski ( 12363 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:23AM (#113530)
    Have you ever noticed how our hypothetical user's intelligence changes to fit our arguments...?

    "The average idiot user will never understand that IE's smartlinks are different than ordinary web links!"
    "It's blatantly obvious to anybody that KIllustrator has nothing to do with Illustrator!"

    Of course, user number 1 is using Windows, and user number 2 is using Linux, so maybe that explains the disparity...


  • I don't think the name of a piece of software necessarily has to describe it's function. As a piece of software becomes more popular, if it has an original name, that name will become synonymous with the software's function. Take the Gimp as an example; There are now literally millions of people who know what the Gimp's purpose is. What about Napster? If napster didn't suck nowadays and kept taking off, that word would probably be added to the dictionary in a few years. Well maybe not, but you get my point. Ximian's Evolution is still under development but already has thousands of users who are already forming the association between the name "Evolution" and it's function--The mail/groupware suite. Aim high, developers--if you're starting a new project or considering a renaming, there's nothing wrong with the name being descriptive, but at least consider some really original names and then work to make your piece of software the best in it's class. You'll earn the distinction of having the name of your project mean what it's function is and might even have other projects prepending letters or company names to your name in the future...:) Try to then be the Gimp of X, where X is any category of software...
  • No, I said the Gimp, the name by which it's most often refered to. Sure the acronym stands for something that makes sense, but the point is, the word Gimp doesn't conjure up ideas of manipulating images by fiat or explicit definition. Lots of people use the Gimp without ever knowing what it stands for. And yes, "Slashdot" is an excellent example.
  • all this time I thought the ENTIRE POINT of trademarks was to keep a copy-cat company from selling a product that *falsly claimed* to be from the original product's manufacturer

    well, sorry, but all this time you were wrong. the purpose of trademarks is to prevent consumer confusion.

    The standard used is "would the average consumer" be reasonably confused by the mark. Not your standard of "anyone, anywhere". Most legal standards are "reasonable person" standards...

  • AIM is an ackronymn, and everyone knows that you cannot trademark them...

    you'd better notify all the intellectual property attorneys of this startling development...

  • Actualy, when GAIM came out, America Online had not yet copyrigted the name "AIM"

    you're right, they had only trademarked it.

    Not with government paperwork, but that little "tm" is all you need to notify the public.

  • That's what trademarks are for, to protect Mom and Dad from being ripped off.

    Exactly (and I have a "Padagonia" vest in Nepal that i got for $5 which is great, but I knew it was a knock-off, of course).

    You don't seriously think that anybody will konfuse Killustrator with Adobe Illustrator, do you? Really?

    really? Yes. What's to indicate that they are different? they are both vector graphics programs that run on PCs, and let you do pretty much the same things. How is someone without experience or computer savvy supposed to guess at the difference?

  • by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <> on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:50AM (#113542) Homepage
    Instead of complaining to Slashdot every time your blatant name ripoff is called out (GAIM, KIllustrator), why not just name your program something that isn't clearly derivative of a commercial program with the same purpose?

    This is, after all, the ENTIRE POINT of trademarks -- so that the customer knows what they are getting. For someone who isn't already familiar with the applications, KIllustrator and Illustrator could very well be the same thing.

    We criticize MS every time they over-use the word "innovation", why not practice some innovation of your own and actually spend ten seconds thinking of a new name.

    Yes, you might be able to claim "illustrator" is a generic term, but seeing as how the program has been around for 15 years and is the market leader, I think a court would give Adobe the benefit of the doubt in deference to the consumer identification of the name with their product. They're hardly trying to stop the use of the word everywhere -- only where it is blatantly obvious that its an intended ripoff of their product identification in vector graphics application software market.

  • As Adobe isn't participating in the Linux market, KIllustrator isn't a competing product.

    Illustrator is a generic term, that existed long before Adobe's product.

    Presuming that they felt that they needed to defend their trademark, they could have required a written acknowledgement in each copy, or some such, saying, e.g., "The term Illustrator for this program us used by permission of...".

    I believe that they just felt like they had enough muscle to get away with it. I believe that they were right about that.

    In addition, Adobe is one of the companies publically reported as a supporter of UCITA, so I don't feel like cutting them any slack.

    It will be quite awhile before I recommend any Adobe product to anybody for anything.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • Quality? Perhaps it depends on your version, or what you are doing.

    I discovered a few years ago that If I took equilateral pentagons and rotated them, the lengths of the sides would shift so that they couldn't be joined together at a central point. Since this is typical of the needs that I have for a drawing program (and one of the reasons that I opted for a vector drawing program in the first place) I was quite disappointed. I ended up out a bunch of cash with a program that was useless for my intended use.

    Deneba Canvas was a much better choice for me. The early versions tended to loose registration in the same way that Illustrator did (though that was no early version of Illustrator!), but the later versions had corrected the problem. Canvas also manages a reasonable quality of pixel-based editing.

    I assume that there are ways in which Illustrator is a better choice. Perhaps it's easier to exchange documents. But Deneba Canvas has filled my needs quite well. (The Linux version doesn't seem to be very active though. They may have dropped it after the beta test.)

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • It is nonsense to suggest that the name is not equally applicable to other products simply because Adobe used it first.

    Well, maybe it's not right, but that's all the court would care about, if it ever went that far, because Adobe trademarked "Illustrator"

    Killustrator is a vector-based drawing program.

    Illustrator is a vector-based drawing program.

    Illustrator predates Killustrator by a number of years.

    The name "Illustrator" is trademarked.

    The way I see it, the court could rule in one of two ways:

    1) They find for Adode
    2) They rule Adobe's trademark invalid

    That's the way trademarks work. Both products are aimed at people wishing to use a computer to produce vector-based illustrations. That they run under different operating systems is irrelevant.

    As for "one product is always going to come before the other. That does not mean that one is named after the other", are you seriously trying to tell us that the Killustrator developers chose the name at random, and had never heard of Illustrator? I'm sure the same is true of KOffice and KWord, too...

    Now, please feel free to argue that Illustrator is too generic a term to be trademarked; then you'd be on safer ground. However, arguing that Adobe using it first doesn't grant them any exclusivity over its use isn't going to get you very far.


  • well it's simple really...
    if they're there for the money, and you can help them stay there and get more money... they'll cater to you so long as you can actually do something for them. It's the same deal for corporations and lobbyists, if they didn't have $$$ then why would the govt listen to them, what can they for for the govt but give them $$$?

    but rally, that's not democracy, that's corruption, and corruption is everywhere. Even in anarchy, you will have groups of individuals conspiring against other indivuals for their own benefit. No big difference. Remember there is no magic pill that will make things better. If anarchy (as a form of "non"government) was so great, why is it so under represented in the world?

  • by earlytime ( 15364 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:52AM (#113547) Homepage
    ya know this whole attitude of:
    by having a project which is not-for-profit, and realeases source code under a free license, i am within my rights to infringe on anyone's patent or trademark or any other form of IP.

    It's just rubbish. Whether or not you "believe" in Intellectual property has no bearing on whether it exists, and if it is legally binding.

    Fighting the system through simple noncompliance is not the answer, talk to your govt reps, and demand action. If nobody complains, then nothing changes. The whole point of democracy is that you stand up and be heard, not just bitch and moan cuz you're not in charge.
    And do you really believe that gov't cares about anything but money anyway? Well, guess who has more money? The people do, and by the way, corporations can't vote, so if you stop being a sheep and watchin all the political ads, and do something. Then the system might change. If you've never actively participated in the system ( no, just voting is not enough) then you're not doing enough to make sure you're interests are represented. Support a canidate that REALLY represents you, then maybe we wouldn't have all these cookie-cutter, do anything for a buck congressional whores deciding how we're gonna plan our collective futures.

    by the way, no i'm not bitter.

  • Are you confused? If you are maybe they have a case, but then you don't. OTOH, if you are not, then they don't have a case. The word "illustrator" existed before Adobe used it just like the word "Word" existed before Microsoft used it. Of course they can add stuff on and use it as their own. But so can anyone else do the same thing. The question is whether that was done to extract on the "good" name, or if it was done to simply convey a meaning to a ubiquitous term. I'm sure the KDE people can choose a different name. But the demand for money now means it won't be that simple.

    And the GPL does not undermine IT development companies. They don't have to use the software if they don't want to. Why is your business doing it if it is undermining you? I was considering using BSD licensing for my free software. But because of the unjustified attacks made on GPL, I'm considering going the other way and doing GPL. Hope you're happy.

  • Instead of trying to address the matter in good faith they are trying to pressure people for money. Were it not for that, I'd say to KDE to change the name. But instead, I'd suggest holding their stand until Adobe agrees to come to terms on this. They should have first sent a normal cease and desist letter. But this indicates a major attitude problem at Adobe, and they are certainly going to lose all potential business from me (what little there may have been).

  • And it is also about Adobe skipping the usual process of sending a "cease and desist" letter. I do believe that, aside from the "theft of commonality" issue, it is likely that the author would have changed the name. So this is also about a bad company with a bad attitude and a bunch of bad lawyers who really are the ones who should become fish food.

    I wish I could boycott Adobe over this. The trouble is, they don't make anything worth buying in the first place.

  • Perhaps the Killustrator folks had better rename before Adobe trademarks other, similar names, such as:




    Maybe the Killustrator should abandon their death theme. They can still stay within the violence theme without killing:




    The possibilities just go on!


  • by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:16AM (#113555)
    Today on the trademark front, Kleenex Corp. accounced that it is issuing an injunction against Adobe, Inc. for use of a confusingly similar name for their product.

    The Kleenex spokesman, a Mr. S. Notball, had this to say, "These Adobe people have gone too far. Their giving this product a name that sounds so similar to our product can't help but harm our customers. Picture this, John Q. Consumer has a bad cold, he's not feeling himself and is a bit confused. He reaches for his KLinux, thinking that he's grabbing his Kleenex. And what happens? He ends up with mucus all over his mouse, keboard and monitor! We just can't allow this sort of thing to go on."

  • "My name is Leenus Torvalds, and I pronounce 'Klinux' as Kleenux."
  • by dillon_rinker ( 17944 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:28AM (#113558) Homepage
    Think about how Linus would pronounce this and you'll realize that they'd soon hear from Kimberly Clark. You know, the folks who make that boxed facial tissue?

    (see if you still don't get it...)
  • by PenguinX ( 18932 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @11:04AM (#113559) Homepage
    Adobe is a US based company. If they are actually trying to get money out of you I don't see why it would be in Euro. Not to mention 2500 euro seems like a very small sum to begin with. I would check with Adobe Corporate Legal and see if this letter is a fake or not before worrying about it. Most large companies tend to get their panties in a bunch to the sum of many hundred of thousands of dollars (or more) over trademark infringement.

  • Appending a "K" doesn't adequately differentiate the product.

    Just like removing the "Perfect" from a word processor, or adding "Star" to the front of "Office"? How about changing "Photo" to "Paint"? Look at "TurboCAD", "AutoCAD", "QCAD", and dozens of others. If adding your company name isn't enough, explain "Microsoft Office", "Corel Office", "Open Office", "StarOffice" and...

    Oh, wait... you're right. I guess "KOffice" is infringing too?

    There is a long history of companies using slight variations on competitors names - I think it has less to do with intentional confusion and more to do with limited namespace for a topic and the need to have a single word name that makes the function of the program evident.


  • Howdy, AC... I'm using my account to elevate your comment:

    So by your logic there would be no connection between a program called "musician" and editing music???

    Illustrations (from woodcuts onwards) have traditionally been vector graphics...

    I'll also add (only of historical relevance, and not of legal relevance) that Office packages have been for sale since at least the 1950s, and probably back to the 1800s. My Dad dug up in my Grandfather's back shed something like "Smithson's Office", a package containing a nice desk set.

    And an Illustrator is someone who illustrates. A program named "Illustrator" would presumably illustrate things. I don't know how more generic you can get. Going back to AC's comment, it's not CakeWalk... it's more like Adobe Musician versus KMusician.


  • Actualy, when GAIM came out, America Online had not yet copyrigted the name "AIM"
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    both "Adobe Illustrator" and just "Illustrator" are trademarked by Adobe.
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    But your still wrong, aol had not trademarked the name "AIM" either.
  • I wonder if (for whatever reason) Adobe has something against Unix in general. Perhaps they just don't have the knowhow. This would partially explain their reluctance to have something for the Mac.

    I wouldn't fret over the Mac. It took some time for fat binaries to become available. This will be the same thing. (Of course, WRT Adobe products and the new Mac OS, there is a rather large chicken-egg problem)

  • Killistrator is not competition of Illustrator. Why? Because Adobe does not compete in the Unix/non-MS/non-Apple marketplace. While the KIll. program might have been 'inspired' by Adobe's work, it is not a competitor. Not until AIllustrator is available on *BSD, Linux, Herd, or whatever.

    But yeah, big whoop. Change the name, life goes on. Grant the copyright of the code/name to FSF and let them pay the 20 quatloos.

  • Would MS Mxyzptlk get them back to our dimension, or land them on the bizarro 5th dimension? (Boy, now that would be an interesting place)

  • Actually, McIntosh is a fruit. Macintosh is a computer.

    Most interestingly, Apple is a recording studio. Apple (the computer company) introduced the 'sosumi' beep after essentially reneging on their agreement to not put sound editing/recording on the Mac.
  • Except that Apple Computer did put sound recording in their hardware/software, and said to Apple Records "bite me". (Okay, they said "sosumi".)

    I don't think Apple Records sued. If so, score one for corporate intelligence.
  • Unfortunately, I added some stuff to my original post that would have indicated that I was playing devil's advocate. Guess they got knackered. Sorry.

    But anyhoo, this is an important question: IS there an OS market? Does someone actually choose between FreeBSD and Win2k? Hurd and Linux? QNX and WinME?

    If you think not (and on the desktop, I think I'm right) then Killustrator is not a competitor. OTOH, if there is a market (and it seems that there is not. M$ has mind and marketshare, except among a few of us freaks) then yes, the two products do compete.

    As an example... Let's say that GM creates a car called the SuperHawk (a replacement for the SuperChicken, perhaps). Can Honda sue? It depends. Both are transportation products, but one is a car, one is a bike.

    Similarly, Killustrator is a Linux (forgive me if it's also available for BSD, et al.) product, and Illustrator is a Win/Mac product.

    Those are the arguments that could be made. I agree with some, disagree with others. But in the end, regardless of the right and wrong of it, the expeditious thing to do, if the software is an end, and not a means to social change, is change the name.

    Someone said KINI (KINI Is Not Illustrator). I like it. And you'd have to be a complete rube (or perhaps 'your honor') in order to confuse the two.

  • I think that the agreement to which I referred was the result of the lawsuit to which you referred. But there may have been a second suit. But you are right, the second suit (if there was one) should have been about 1991.

    Ancient history:)

  • I entirely agree - it is absolutely unnecessary to name a vector drawing application a derivative of 'Illustrator'. Notice that Macromedia's application names (Freehand, Fireworks, Flash) bare no resemblance to Adobe's product names that perform similar functions (Photoshop, Imageready, Illustrator, Livemotion) - if they can do it, certainly the KIllustrator author can as well.

    Now, if they were trying to cash in on the legitimacy of the 'Adobe Illustrator' product when their project was named, well busted .

    Just because its free and you're making no money off it doesn't mean you can infringe on a company's branding. Let's look at the various image manipulation/viewing programs out there for Linux now (that I can think of in 5 seconds)- GIMP, ImageMagick, xv, Paint, etc. - none of these infringe on a corporation's branding (unless M$ want's to argue about Paint, I hardly think that it significantly adds or detracts from its corporate brand!!).

    The comment about AIM and such is perfectly valid as well - come up with new names, people will use your application because it came up on a search, they were told to use it by a friend, its preinstalled on their Linux distro or whatever else - be more creative! If Open Source projects continue to rip off names, they'll continue to get in legal trouble and frankly, I have no sympathy for them.

    GIMP has become quite popular on its merits, not because people were under the impression it was a free version of Photoshop. I've read often that GIMP is considered comparable to Photoshop and in some limited aspects it is - however, in many, many important aspects, it doesn't come anywhere close. Especially when tied in with Imageready, Photoshop is an immensely powerful tool that (unfortunately) so far GIMP cannot compare with. However - there are SO many things that I don't need Photoshop for and GIMP does those things miraculously well - and good for it!

    Let your applications persevere on their merits, not on a borrowed name.

  • There are agencies that check the legal status of names in all kinds of countries (and the meaning of that name in various languages).

    That way, you can make sure that you're not working against anyone's trademarks and you make sure that people will not associate anything negative with your product.

    Of course, the expenses to use that service are probably way higher than what your average free software author is able (or willing) to spend.
  • Actually, it's in 4686 German Mark (DM), which is (at least approximately) 2500 Euro.

    The lawyers also refused to make a deal - the author offered to change the name if they would not demand the money. They added that lawyers wouldn't work for free.

    See the article in the newsticker []. According to that article it is still unclear whether the lawyers work directly for Adobe. Adobe itself also didn't make a statement.
  • Anyone have any better ideas for names ... perhaps famous sketchers or draftsmen for Killustrator, famous authors for kword, famouse painters for kpaint, and so on...

    This is a great idea -- not only because it bypasses the whole trademark issue, but because it's coherent, clever, and marketable. Moreover, it would differentiate Linux apps from their Windows counterparts (if only the developers could do the same with the interfaces, many of which are blatant MS knockoffs). In short, it would give the Linux platform a sorely needed shot of brand identity. I suggest:

    Killustrator -> DaVinci (possibly the most famous draftsman of all time)
    Kword -> Virgil
    Kpaint -> Monet (a good choice to differentiate paint from illustrator -- the guy would never use a vector program to save his life)

  • If some two-bit marketeer and Windows konsultant kould konstrukt a famous industrial danse klub [] that way, why not?


  • Lots of interesting answers to the questions you raise.

    First you ask why people waste time trying to argue against trademarking of various terms. Well, some people (especially those who frequent this site) tend to think that the patenting and/or trademarking of such terms is a ridiculous concept ab inicio. (Sorry if I'm blurring the objection to patents/copyrights with trademarks too much...). So their objection is not simply that they shouldn't be forced to think up "more original" names, but rather that the system that obliges this practice is fundamentally flawed to begin with. Not saying I agree with this, but I think that's the point of view.

    Secondly, as for why more effort isn't put into more creatively naming projects, well it does amazing things for a project (of any kind, not just software) when right out of the gate people know what the project does just by looking at its name. In that sense it's a tremendous benefit to the KIllustrator folks (I'm assuming) that most people know automatically what their software is for just by catching the cute play on words that 'k' in this case affords them.

    On a related note, it might actually be in the long run benefit to pursue this course of action and promote "MegaCorp's brand strength", as you put it, because I believe that such trademarks are only valid as long as the trademarked term is not a complete functional synonym of the job it does. Think about Kleenex and tissue paper (or Xerox and photocopiers). The Kleenex brand is so closely synonymous with the tissue product that Kleenex's parent company must articificially promote its competitors in order to avoid losing the trademark.

    Hope this doesn't come off as a rant. I just thought that the comment asked a lot of questions that were worth putting my two cents toward answering. Would be great to hear what others think.

  • >"Nobody called the program Kadobe! I think it is time for some pressure on Adobe ... "

    Hmm, seems odd to me to assume that you couldn't
    call something Kadobe, as Webster's has this to
    say, with nothing about a software company...

    adobe (-db)

    A sun-dried, unburned brick of clay and straw.
    The clay or soil from which this brick is made.
    A structure built with this type of brick.
  • See, once you start going down this road, you realize that someone, somewhere has produced software with virtually every name possible and sooner or later they're going to decide to want some licensing fee for using their noun, verb, or adjective.

    I want to release a product called 'the' or '1.0' and trademark those terms
  • Shouldn't generic descriptive terms like 'explorer,' 'illustrator' 'word' and 'paint' be free for all to use?
    No. To my understanding, trademarks refer to specific fields of usage. Illustrator is a perfect name for an illustration program. Adobe (actually Aldus, from whom Adobe bought Illustrator) got to it first, and is enforcing the mark against a party which is distributing an Illustrator program whose name differs only by affixing a "k" to make a cute pun. I'm sure Macromedia would be doing the same thing if somebody called their illustration program aFreehand. (of course I'd be very pissed at Adobe if they sued someone for calling their product Linux Illustrator, etc.)

  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:47AM (#113615) Journal
    since you can't trademark a common word

    Actually, you can trademark common words or phrases,and obvious ones, for use in a certain context. IBM trademarked "Crash Protection" as it related to operating systems, as did Microsoft with "Windows". Oh, and "Macintosh" is a common eating apple, but both it and apple have been trademarked.

  • by interiot ( 50685 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:51AM (#113621) Homepage
    Yeah... using [], you can find...

    ser# 74731075: "ILLUSTRATOR", for Adobe Systems Incorporated.

    ser# 73210166: "ILLUSTRATOR", for Illustrator Pen Products, Inc.

    ser# 73657866: "ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR", for Adobe Systems Incorporated.

  • by ppetrakis ( 51087 ) <> on Monday July 02, 2001 @11:04AM (#113624) Homepage
    Lawyers don't make demands for money upfront.
    They threaten first and expect you to back down.
    Also 2500 euro sounds awefully cheap for use
    of adobe's trademark. Ignore him.
  • by thuddwhirr ( 52968 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:55AM (#113628) Homepage
    Adobe has every right, reason, and frankly, moral justification to persue this suit. Adobe Illustrator is an established, well known, widely recognized brand name, due in no small part to the quality of the product and the boatloads of marketing money spend by Adobe. Naming a product that is a direct competetor KIllustrator, a one letter diffrence, is not just an innocent naming choice, but a blatenty obvious effort to ride on the coatails of Adobe's efforts. Adobe did it first. Adobe did a good job of it. Adobe chose to identify all their hardwork with the label Illustrator. Regardless of the legality/wisdom of trying to trademark a standard word, naming their productKIllustrator is a cheep ploy and is an excellent example of the kind of thing trademark laws were set up to stop in the firstplace. Seriously people, if Microsoft released an MS-Apache webserver the majority of the posters on this board would be demanding blood. Just because someone is an underdog doesn't always make them the good guys.
  • by imac.usr ( 58845 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:38AM (#113630) Homepage
    yes the Adobe that has not ported a single application apart from its PDF Reader to Linux

    Heh, don't feel bad; apparently Linux isn't the only Unix platform Adobe refuses to port anything other than a PDF reader to []....

  • by RyanMuldoon ( 69574 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:31AM (#113637) Homepage
    I am sure that Adobe has a trademark on the "Illustrator" name. This pretty much means that it has a naming monopoly on the word Illustrator as it pertains to computer drawing programs. Appending a "K" doesn't adequately differentiate the product. Using an original name is a much better idea. There is no real way to defend what KIllustrator is doing in a court.
  • by dimator ( 71399 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @12:21PM (#113642) Homepage Journal
    2500 Euro? For some guy's spare time project?Cripes.

    Hold it right there. If everyone here is always praising free software, then you can't turn around and claim that Adobe shouldn't treat this particular project with the same amount of seriousness as it would any other (commercial) competitor. You don't know if KIllustrator is tomorrow's wonder-project, that everyone knows about (e.g. Linux kernel). If you can sing the praises of free software 24-hours a day, then Adobe has every right to treat this as a threat, and better to take care of it now then later.

    If this is how companies are going to try to kill free software, we need to establish a pool of good software names that no one has trademark claims to and nail them down.

    You think?

    People should stop ripping off names (and consequently, attempts at name-recognition) and do exactly what you suggest.

    (And imagine if Adobe tried to rippoff the name of a free-software project. Wouldn't all of /. be up in arms with pitch forks and torches?)

  • I mean, Judges do stupid stuff quite often, but do you really think that one is going to find "Adobe Illustrator" (which must be the trademark, since you can't trademark a common word) and "Killustrator" confusingly similar?


  • by Amokscience ( 86909 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:12AM (#113676) Homepage
    Lack of Kreativity (a popular view of OSS). Why not just Klone a produkt *and* it's produkt name when you can just sprinkle Ks everywhere. It's less work, and everyone knows programmers have a hard time picking deskriptive names.
  • by kdgarris ( 91435 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:44AM (#113683) Journal
    Even if this is the case, the fine of 2500 euro is unfair to the developer considering that it's a free application. Just a simple request to rename the application probably would have been enough.

  • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @11:46AM (#113695) Homepage Journal

    if it has an original name, that name will become synonymous with the software's function.

    Very much so.

    Part of the entire problem has been that names of commonly used applications have become so standardized and entrenched in the minds of casual users that they have gone the way of Dry Ice®, Band Aid® and Kleenex®. It's just that while those took decades to permeate the popular lexicon, the names of computer applications have been appropriated by popular language in a much faster time.

    Honestly, how often have you heard generic computer users say to one another words like I got an Outlook attachment from Bob in marketing that I couldn't open in Powerpoint and had to use Excel instead. I think if he saved it in Word2000 or let me open it from Explorer this wouldn't have happened...
    where both parties to the conversation completely and implicitly understand that
    • Outlook == email application
    • Bob in marketing == dolt who opens all the .vbs viri that flood our inboxes so often
    • Powerpoint == presentation software
    • Excel == spreadsheet software
    • Word2000 == document processing software
    • Explorer == web browser application
    • MS == redundant, feel-good prefix
    Indeed, if you were to use the generic terms for these specific standard applications, they would probably cause more confusion than clarity because they are used so infrequently.

    Face it, in corporate and consumer IT, the use of trademarked application names to describe an application is preferred. Those names have migrated into the into the public domain as the most descriptive terms for their respective applications. Their de facto usage will inevitably be sanctioned by the creaking wheels of justice by about 2018, decades after peak usage.

    The use of trademarked names for common applications can only be only a source of great delight to those lucky enough to own them. What better way to insure brand loyalty than to possess the name of a standard?

    This really is only a reflection of the deeper underlying problem. That is, your "standards" are Owned.

    Hope you enjoy paying for them.

  • by cybercuzco ( 100904 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:21AM (#113701) Homepage Journal
    how about Kill-ustrator?

  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:42AM (#113714)
    Adobe Illustrator is NOT descriptive. It is a vector based drawing program. Word is a Word Processor. Word is used descriptively. Word is a WEAKER trademark in this regards than Illustrator.

    However, ask yourself why the KDE team named their vector based drawing program KIllustrator and their word processor KWord? It is INTENDED to capitalize on the good will of Adobe and Microsoft.

    Can any of you HONESTLY say that KIllustrator isn't similar to Illustrator. It is designed AS a knock-off product with a similar name. It is INTENDED for a user to think, wow, this will be similar to the Illustrator that I know.

    Why does the Free Software "community" do stuff like this? The rest of the world is comfortable competing (with a few monopolies excluded) fairly. Why does the "community" feel that they can appropriate the names of their competitors.

    Linux is NOT just a play toy any more. Severally publically traded companies use it as a basis for business. Many more privately held companies use it as well.

    If the whole point of "open source" was to make Free Software viewed favorably in the business community, maybe it is time to grow up.

    Referring to Microsoft as M$, MacroHard, etc., does't help you.

    If you DON'T care about the business world, than just ignore them and do your own thing. But if your goal is to get your software used, why don't we try acting like adults.

    Companies are NOT going to adopt Linux and other "community" projects if its proponents INSIST on acting like 15 year olds.

    Act like adults. You're playing with the big boys now, which is quite an accomplishment. But childishness, appropriating trademarks, etc., isn't getting you anywhere.

    Declaring everything generic, obvious, and not worthy of protection isn't getting you anywhere. Microsoft is going to succeed in banning government funding of GPL'd work if they are able to paint their opponents as 15 year old intend on undermining the cause of productivity increases of the past 15 years.

    The GPL turns copyright on its head. It allows cooperative based development. However, it undermines IT development companies.

    First step of winning this public relations war is to act like adults. The NEXT step is to start respectfully competing. And copying everything from everyone else, including names, isn't going to convince the public that you are innovating and improving the economy. It makes you look like children.

    My business is based upon various Open Source programs. The "community" earns my company and others a bad rap.

  • by jfmiller ( 119037 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:54AM (#113745) Homepage Journal
    While I tend to agree with Hrunting that more original names would be nice, I urge caution to those who would go so far as to name photo editer GIMP. While those of you who are old hands a linux know what all the recursive MLAs stand for, I am a recovering MircoSofty and it is very dificult to find the program you want with names like pico, emacs, gimp, and grep. This is especially true for people who are used to WordPad, Word, PhotoShop, and find. Be Original just don't be obtuse.
  • Yeah, you're right. And if this were about patents, Adobe wouldn't have a leg to stand on. But it's about trademarks, not patents. And Adobe's right; calling an Illustrator-like program 'KIllustrator' seems to be a direct attempt to say, in effect, to the customer: "It's like Illustrator, only it runs under KDE!" Take the GIMP; it's often referred to as a Photoshop clone. But it's not called 'KPhotoShop', or 'FreePhotoShop' or anything so Adobe doesn't care.
  • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @11:28AM (#113776) Homepage
    Except that Illustrator is a pretty generic term for the function of the program. I mean, if I wrote a word processor that was called "Pxtl Word Processor", then some other guy wrote "K-Word Processor" one has to wonder - well, they're just word processors aren't they? I mean, ford can't sue GM for making vehicles that they happen to call SUV's, 'cause SUV is a generic term. So, the question is, is Illustrator a generic term for the function of the program (like word processor or SUV) or is it different enough from the generic names of the product that makes it a unique, trademarkable name? For another example, if it weren't for the / - I figure the name OS/2 would've never stood up in court against a similar name - Operating System /2 is pretty darn generic - its not a name, its a classification and an iteration.
  • by techmuse ( 160085 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:06AM (#113790)
    Adobe legally must enforce its trademarked names, or they fall into common usage. If they fall into common usage, Adobe no longer has legal protection over the name. So if Adobe fails to enforce its rights over a name for a similar product with which there is a high probability of confusion between its product (Illustrator) and K's product (Killustrator), it looses the rights to the Illustrator name. It's not a conspiracy. It's just what they have to do to run their business.
  • by The Gline ( 173269 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:39AM (#113812) Homepage
    The new first-person shoot-em-up that's sweeping the nation! Use your vector and spline drawing tools to hunt down and exterminate art department interns gone BAD!

    Killustrator! For Mac, PC, PSX2, and X-Box. (An unsupported Linux version is available for alpha download.)
  • by JCCyC ( 179760 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:03AM (#113823) Journal
    No, no... KINI (KINI Is Not Illustrator)

    Or KWAKBAS (KWAKBAS WAs Killustrator But Adobe Sued)

    This, and putting a message on the splash screen & about box urging people not to buy anything from Adobe. Like Graphics Workshop (Windows image-converting shareware) did with Unisys.

  • by JCCyC ( 179760 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:24AM (#113824) Journal
    I think they should call it Kqkbnwglsd. That way no self respecting company would sue them

    They could call it Kltpzyxm, but then every user would be hurled into the 5th dimension!

  • by RedWizzard ( 192002 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @03:34PM (#113847)
    Part of the entire problem has been that names of commonly used applications have become so standardized and entrenched in the minds of casual users that they have gone the way of Dry Ice®, Band Aid® and Kleenex®...

    Honestly, how often have you heard generic computer users say to one another words like I got an Outlook attachment from Bob in marketing that I couldn't open in Powerpoint and had to use Excel instead. I think if he saved it in Word2000 or let me open it from Explorer this wouldn't have happened...
    Those aren't generic names for types of applications they are specific names of Microsoft applications. I have never heard anyone use "Outlook" to mean "email program", they always mean Microsoft Outlook. Similarly Excel and Powerpoint. Word you might have a point, but it's debatable.
  • by FeltTip ( 203551 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:40AM (#113867)
    Please try to tell me with a straight face that Killustrator is:
    1. Not a competing product of Illustrator.
    2. The name was not derived from said competing product.
    3. The name of the product does not benefit greatly from the inclusion of the competing product's own name in it's moniker.

    People may not like Adobe just because they don't write stuff for Linux, but that is Adobe's choice. A company that is out for profit isn't obligated to write software for a particular platform just because many people feel that it's the right thing to do. This is a company that sells stock and is obligated to turn a profit. Writing this type of software for the Linux OS may not be the right thing to do for the business. Remember, this is the company that didn't write stuff for Windows until the early to mid-90's simply because they didn't think it was economically feasible.

    But getting back on topic, maybe people should consider copyright infringement issues before they name their software. Being contrarian for it's own sake is silly.

  • by 2nd Post! ( 213333 ) <.gundbear. .at.> on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:48AM (#113877) Homepage
    It's not just the userbase, you understand, but the graphics and print culture that has to exist in Linux.

    If Adobe were to port Photoshop, Illustrator, etc, to Linux, it almost requires that Linux have it's own printshop culture to sustain the growth and development efforts.

    It's like asking the Japanese to import dolphin meat into the US just because we like Anime and eat sushi; there isn't the cultural support for the eating of dolphins for that to be feasible...

    Geek dating! []
  • by karmawarrior ( 311177 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:52AM (#113945) Journal
    Not a competing product of Illustrator.
    Killustrator is not a competing product to Adobe Illustrator (I assume that's what you meant.) It can't be - the two products do not even run under the same operating system. They're aimed at different audiences.

    The name was not derived from said competing product.
    The name is generic. Like "Office", which was used to describe office suites during the eighties well before Microsoft adopted the name for their suite. It's reasonable to say that the two products have the same derivation for the name, rather than one being derived from the other.

    The name of the product does not benefit greatly from the inclusion of the competing product's own name in it's moniker.
    The name of the product is illustrative of the product's use, and therefore both products gain from the use of the generic word "Illustrator" (meaning, that that illustrates), in their names. Adobe's marketing of a product under that name may or may not "help" KIllustrator in ensuring users already know what the product is for, but the intended user profile of both products is sufficiently intelligent to be able to distingish between the two products, even by name.

    People may not like Adobe just because they don't write stuff for Linux, but that is Adobe's choice. A company that is out for profit isn't obligated to write software for a particular platform just because many people feel that it's the right thing to do. This is a company that sells stock and is obligated to turn a profit. Writing this type of software for the Linux OS may not be the right thing to do for the business. Remember, this is the company that didn't write stuff for Windows until the early to mid-90's simply because they didn't think it was economically feasible.
    My heart bleeds. Adobe's development of Linux software is not at issue here, though I feel compelled to point out that they do develop server products, such as Acrobat Distiller, for less prevelent operating systems than Linux, so the economic argument doesn't cut it. Adobe choose to name their product generically, and are claiming a monopoly on use of that generic descriptor. While they're doing so, they're slapping down a group of people who are not competing with them, and, being a group of individuals rather than a huge corporation, do not have the resources to fight back.

    Essentially, Adobe is the playground bully here.

    But getting back on topic, maybe people should consider copyright infringement issues before they name their software.
    There are no copyright issues under discussion. The issue is an alleged trademark violation - an allegation that, if allowed to stand, chips away at the right to use the English language sanely and to provide descriptive names of products and services.
  • by infinite9 ( 319274 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @11:50AM (#113957)

    Nobody called the program Kadobe!

    That's because George Lucas threatened to sue.

  • by mveloso ( 325617 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:29AM (#113966)
    no infringement there, either. duh.
  • by Invisible Agent ( 412805 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @09:38AM (#113977)
    Shouldn't generic descriptive terms like 'explorer,' 'illustrator' 'word' and 'paint' be free for all to use?

    Do you suppose that the KDE guys would have called the program KIllustrator if there weren't a similar product with a well-known name out there? I have to say that I see Adobe's point of view on this. But what's the big deal? Pick a new name, and move on. Projects (especially Open Source projects) live and die by their quality, not by their clever name.

    Invisible Agent
  • by Magumbo ( 414471 ) on Monday July 02, 2001 @10:01AM (#113980)
    They should change the name to KIllustraitor.

    Kill Us, Traitor.


"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham