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Some bad news on naming

Starting in 2003, we used to call our RTC server “Jive Messenger” – very clear, but not very exciting, and not much of a brand in and of itself. So we decided to rename in 2005. We went through a long process (including going out to the community) and ultimately ended up with “Wildfire” – everyone loved the name and it worked well with the product.

Unfortunately, we recently hit a snag. Even though we performed a trademark search at the time we chose the name, we were recently asked to end the usage by a company who sees their product as similar. Their original trademark was for a protocol that supports peer-to-peer file sharing – it was close, but we were pretty sure it wouldn’t be perceived as an issue. Unfortunately, this same company expanded their usage afterwards to include other forms of real-time communication. And now they believe that our use of Wildfire is infringing on their trademark.

As you can imagine, it’s been incredibly frustrating. We didn’t see it as a confusing mark, but they weren’t budging, and we didn’t want to get into a costly legal battle that we likely wouldn’t win. It’s also an exceedingly expensive situation, since we’ve invested so much in the brand. In hindsight, we could have done more homework on the name, and could have involved more lawyers. Painful lesson learned.

After exhausting the possibility of keeping the Wildfire name we’ve now started working on a new name for the project. We’re still researching and brainstorming, but getting your thoughts early in the process is very helpful. And this time we’ll be more careful (read “paranoid”) as we search for a new name for Wildfire. You’ll probably see some names that have absolutely no infringement potential: Getabubazz? Havofrindia?

We don’t have an exact time frame for the change yet, but we’re going to keep an open process and I’ll provide status updates in the forums. This is a situation that I never wanted or imagined and several of us here at Jive have had sleepless nights over the problem. Still, I’m confident that we’ll get through it and look back on all of this as just a blip on the quest to build the leading Open Source real-time collaboration server on the market.

Hi,

You can change two letters in the word ‘Wildfire’. This is the letters ‘f’ and ‘r’. So you can get interesting variants. For example ‘Wildjive’

Hi!

I feel for you and with you. This is a real pita!

However I think as soon as you are starting to be real company (i.e. paying customers, solid business model, well known products, some rumble in the press, etc.) you are in big danger of getting into this sort of troubles.

As we call it over here: “You are either the hunter or being hunted!” As a tiny but fast moving startup its very easy to be a hunter of the big, lazy & slow moving big boys. As you mature there will either new kids on the block or the big guys do fear about your success.

Crazy as it might sound: This is actual an honor because you are now a respected company".

Heads up!

Harald

Hello,

This is something that can happen to everyone and happens everyday. That’s always bad news but no one is safe. That even happens to Apple.

So have a nice sleep and I wish you good luck in finding an exciting new name.

Cheers

Hello. That was a cute name, too bad :confused:

However. To find a name for my projects, I usually take name from botanics taxonomy (my names comes from Myotis bat species: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=myotis&fulltext=Search ). It makes really cools names, usually.

Anyway, it won’t change the outstanding quality of the product, thanks for that.

I expect another “More than just a name change” blog within the next weeks (; like “Today, the Ignite Realtime Organisation announced that it???s server formerly known as ‘Wildfire’ is now the ‘XMPP Reference Server Implementation’.”

Or probably ‘Fieldfire’ as it’s not so far from ‘Wildfire’.

That is indeed sad news… I really dig the wildfire name. Bah. Good luck in the search for a new name! I hope you can come up with something else fire related! =)

What about Spark? Will it have to change too? Can you use something else with fire in it, like maybe Firestorm?

For now, things look ok with Spark.

Thanks

-Matt

meltingrobot:

I was also thinking about firestorm. Still a cool, strong, firey name; and quite symbolic, since firestorms come from a wildfire.

The wildfire logo already looks like a firey tornado, so the work is halfway done

I like Firestorm as well - has a good ring to it !

As Zorel said, a name change is a pain but doesn’t change the outstanding quality of the product !

Martyn

Firestorm was also the first name I thought of as an alternative.

Ooh ooh! Naming contest! Time to brainstorm…

How about…

“IMonfire server”? What? Ok, just being silly.

“Spark Server”? Matches with Spark client, keeps it simple.

“Open Realtime Server”? Got idea from main page of site.

“Ignite Realtime Server”?

“OpenXMPP Server”?

And finally…

“Conflagration server”? Bet that one’s not in use. Got ONE hit on Google for a WoW server I think. And it keeps the fire theme.

Firestorm works as well. But is that one in use anywhere? Seems like a more common term.

Maybe combining a real word related to fire with a nonsensical word, or mashing the letters a bit to make it nonstandard spelling. Keep thinking of outfits like Kodak, where they just made up a word.

Anyway, whatever is chosen, here’s to hoping its the last time. The software is excellent, but such name changes can really confuse new (and even some current) users and muddy the waters. Stable branding really helps.

Best of luck with this, guys. And whatever the case, keep up the good work. Just noticed the 3.2.0 beta was announced. Looking forward to seeing what’s new.

Wow, before I read all your comments, I was also thinking Firestorm! I thought it would go well with the recent scalability work. (It seems like a firestorm would be bigger and badder than just a measly wildfire!) Unfortunately, it seems like a name like that might come across the same problem?

Also, not sure if its “business-worthy” (i.e. would businesses take a product called Firestorm seriously?). I don’t really have a good grasp on that aspect

I was always confused by the name. We use PTC’s 3D CAD system here…it is also called Wildfire. Everytime I mentioned this people thought I was talking about the CAD software not the IM solution.

The thing that made me look at Wildfire (the IM software) was it’s features. In the end, the name shouldn’t matter all that much. Just look at Wii…terrible name, very popular product.

A trying state of affairs indeed, perhaps you should take a new tack? Consider maintaining the paradigm of ???Wildfire??? in concept. It takes a ???Spark??? to ???Ignite??? a fuel source to achieve a ???Wildfire???. Don???t overlook a necessary part of combustion???

Model = combustion

Action = ???Ignite???

Ignition source = ???Spark???

Fuel source = ???

Outcome = ???Wildfire???

Synonyms for Wildfire are yet obvious: openFlame, Inferno, etc., but what about focusing on the other requisite variable, the fuel source. In fact, you could likely go with ???Fuel???, it???s so generic (like Spark) no lawyer could contest that someone owns it - it???d be like patenting the wheel, IMO.

All things that burn consume fuel, and since we???re talking about the name of a server, all things must communicate w/ it (at least in theory). It???s certainly your prerogative, but I???d go down this path further.

???Just a thought, regards,

Perry

“???Fuel???, it???s so generic (like Spark) no lawyer could contest that someone owns it - it???d be like patenting the wheel, IMO”

Yes, but this then would also apply to Jive Software. If a company releases an IM solution under the name Fuel, nothing can be done against it.

My suggestion: /dev/random …uniqness still not garantueed, but very likely :o)

I feel that Firestorm is the best because it’s very close to my nickname and therefore awesome.

(seriously, I really do like that one)

But also, would there be problems with spelling changes for Wildfire? Wildfyre? Something like that?

WideFire! WideFire! WideFire!

Basicly, almost the same spell.

And keep a nice meaning.

I would expect those people to stink on anything with Wild or Fire in the name.

Go in another direction for a name like TangentIM Server (business like) or completely different like FreeFlow Server (as in… well I think the name is obvious to the purpose).

Otherwise… raise some capital and buy out that other company for $42 and keep the name. They can’t be worth that much can they?