Hudson Fork and Trademark Dispute

The Register has reported that Oracle is claiming rights in the Hudson trademark, and that those developers forking the project, which is a software build and monitoring solution developed by Sun Microsystems, have no right to use the name. 

This points up yet again the complex issues surrounging trademarks in open soruce projects.  The Register article claims that Oracle does not own the mark, which it calls “nonexistent,” but in fact that seems less than clear; in the US, trademark rights arise from use rather than registration, and thus the lack of a registration does not necessarily mean no ownership. 

The fork happened recently.  “Hudson users had moved big parts of the project off of the Java.net servers owned by Oracle. The mailing list archive and the live mailing list had gone to Google Groups and Nabble while source code had moved to GitHub.”

This follows on the heels of the Open Office parting of ways in Septmber,  previously reported in this blog.