Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Adobe Threatens KIllustrator Over Name

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the the-smell-of-fear dept.

KDE 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 ... "

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Call it Then it's protected! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#113452)

Because as we all know * sites are protected speech [] .

How sure are you? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#113453)

According to this [] mail, they have trademark on "Adobe Illustrator". I would bet that Illustrator is too general word to be trademarked. For example Microsoft hasn't been able to trademark "Windows".

Actually... this is flagrant... (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#113464)

Anything else Killistrator could have stood for?

Re:Why Not More Original Names? (3)

defile (1059) | more than 13 years ago | (#113468)

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?

Why Not More Original Names? (5)

Hrunting (2191) | more than 13 years ago | (#113472)

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 completly agree. (1)

_14k4 (5085) | more than 13 years ago | (#113486)

I'm going to write something called KMacro-windows-media player. That way, I kill 2 birds with one stone. And after all.. even negative press is good press. :)

Re:I totally agree (1)

_14k4 (5085) | more than 13 years ago | (#113487)

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.

The issue here is moot. Its a common name. A simple word. I could name a product "paint" and I can only assume Micros~1 will rebuttle with something. "paint" as well as "illustrate" is in the dictionary. They are words that do not point to a specific product. We more often consider them 'verbs'. Paint, illustrate, etc. If they called the product Kadobeillustrator, that would a different story, as Adobe is copywritten.

Period. There really is no weight to Adobe's argument. They can pull the "its a recognized name, so they used it..." card, but K can easily pull the "its a word... we could have called it Kstreet-light for gods' sake..". Frankly, I think its a childish attempt at press, money, and a last ditch effort because they know they should be on the Linux platform.

2500 EUR (1)

howardjp (5458) | more than 13 years ago | (#113492)

If he waits a few weeks, it'll only be $1.25 USD :)

Re:Killustrator (1)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 13 years ago | (#113502)

Nice short-term investment outlook. Here's a different chart [] that shows the real quality of an investment in adobe.

Some Alternative Names (5)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 13 years ago | (#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...

Re:Time to port (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#113531)

Nitpick: Aside from Dimensions, I don't think Adobe publishes any 3-D software...

Stop whining (5)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 13 years ago | (#113542)

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.


Re:Adobe releases KLinux (5)

earlytime (15364) | more than 13 years ago | (#113547)

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.

Generic naming (1)

Lycestra (16353) | more than 13 years ago | (#113549)

In regards to the generic-ness of a name, who dictates what that is?

I think I'll start a credit firm and call it "American Dollar".
Who knows. If I IPO, I could be symbol USD on the NASDAQ.

Grain of salt people. I think Illustrator is justified in their ownership of the name within the relevant market, of which Killustrator falls into. Confusion just makes things worse, which is why I will name only one of my sons after me.

Other violations (1)

sien (35268) | more than 13 years ago | (#113594)

As owner of the German top level domain I have been wanting to get those KDE folks for quite some time.

trademarking common words (5)

wiredog (43288) | more than 13 years ago | (#113615)

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.

Re:Why Not More Original Names? (2)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 13 years ago | (#113619)

Someone on the KDE list suggested ``vektor''

I'd push it even farther though... how 'bout:




Lettering Art in Modern Use

Re:Adobe is right here.... (3)

interiot (50685) | more than 13 years ago | (#113621)

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.

Re:Adobe is right here.... (5)

thuddwhirr (52968) | more than 13 years ago | (#113628)

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.

Adobe and unix (4)

imac.usr (58845) | more than 13 years ago | (#113630)

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 [] ....


Want to pressure them a little? (1)

Shanep (68243) | more than 13 years ago | (#113634)

Use ghostscript to print or export text from pdf files that are set to not allow it.

Then tell everyone you know who has had this problem, or other people who must deal with pdf files frequently, that they can get around these "protections" by using ghostscript even under MS Windows.

Devil's advocate... (1)

mincemeat (68515) | more than 13 years ago | (#113635)

On the otherhand, don't you think that the name KIllustrator was chosen specifically as a reference to the Adobe product? Can anyone really see the name "KIllustrator" and not associate with Illustrator. It is confusing in some respects even if Adobe is not producing a Linux Illustrator. Perhaps Adobe is considering marketing a Linux port of Illustrator in which case there is a real possibility of confusing these programs.
The bottom line is this: The developers of KIllustrator selected the name specifically because it was similar to Illustrator. They did this because the name instantly tells you what the project intends to do: write an Illustrator clone for KDE. I don't think it is right that anyone should be able to manufacture and sell cars under the Ford name. And what if Dell sold "Macintosh" computers? How is this case any different? KIllustrator should just pick some new name.

Adobe is right here.... (4)

RyanMuldoon (69574) | more than 13 years ago | (#113637)

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.

Re:Give me a break! (1)

wass (72082) | more than 13 years ago | (#113643)

But the difference (and IANAL) is that Miata is not a commonly-used word officially in the English language (at least according to Merriam-Webster [] .

Of course, these silly trademark rules will probably allow Adobe to pressure the Koffice people to change the name.

Someone above suggested that Kword might soon be pressured by MSFT to change, and maybe even the Koffice name will have to be changed. This leads to an interesting point. Many word processors existed prior to MSWord with the name 'word' in them. Could MSFT claim KWord is in violation or not? And similarly, has anyone encountered other software with the name 'illustrator' in it?
__ __ ____ _ ______
\ V .V / _` (_-&#60_-&#60

Re:Adobe is right here.... (1)

n3bulous (72591) | more than 13 years ago | (#113644)

IANAL, but a trademark is usually used in the marketing domain. As I recall, KIllustrator is not being sold and it isn't being marketed (though it is marketed by KDE/Linux as in "includes KIllustrator!") so there should be no confusion. There may, however, be confusion because of related products like "KIllustrator for Dummies". Then things would be officially confusing, but the average computer person would be able to figure it out because of the red circle surrounding the adobe logo with a slash through it.

If they started selling KIllustrator or even giving it away as a free product at computer stores, I could see a problem, but unless a trademark extends to all manner of life, this shouldn't be upheld.

That said, "KIllustrator" is definitely intended to remind you about Adobe's version from a feature POV.

Even though it is a frivilous lawsuit, a name change is the easiest way out. Lacking a financial backer, the common man cannot fight a corporation.

Adobe's already won. (1)

aidoneus (74503) | more than 13 years ago | (#113647)

And here's why:

So, I have closed the website at the moment. Could somebody with access to remove all information about and links to Killu, please?

All Adobe wanted to do was shut down the development of potentially competing software. They succeeded. They knew that they likely don't have a leg to stand on legally, for while Adobe Illustrator(r) is a registered trademark, the word Illustrator itself does not exist as one of their trademarked words (see [] ).

Just another example of intimidation winning out over what is right. Make your voice and wallet heard by support Kai and letting Adobe know you're unsatisified.

Re:Time to port (1)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 13 years ago | (#113648)

What are you looking for in 3D - is pov ray [] good enough for you?

Pronunciation? (1)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 13 years ago | (#113649)

Maybe if we setup a logo with a phonetic pronunciation there in a comical form for "Kill-Us-Strator" that would get around that. However, Mr. / Ms. Strator might not like us asking them to kill us....

Butt Head? (1)

heliocentric (74613) | more than 13 years ago | (#113650)

Didn't apple change "Carl Segan Astronomer" to "Butt Head Astronomer" when Mr. Segan didn't want his name used on their product?

(I think it didn't get out the door with that title, but it was atleast used for in house reference)

Oh, I'm probably wrong and will get severly flamed and then mod-ed down, but then we know I'll remember!

Re:Adobe is right here.... (2)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 13 years ago | (#113654)

First, I think that the trademark must be on "Adobe Illustrator." I don't think
that you can trademark a common word. So you can trademark two common words like
"Red Hat" or one made up word "Linux."

Second appending a "K" to the word illustrator would yield "IllustratorK"
prepending a "K" gives KIllustrator.

Finally, do you honestly find "Adobe Illustrator" and "KIllustrator" confusingly similar?


Seems like a hollow threat. (3)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 13 years ago | (#113659)

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?


Clever names are short names, and are patentable (1)

jasonjwwilliams (80936) | more than 13 years ago | (#113663)

Just because Adobe was smart and picked a simple name doesn't mean it should be public domain on the name. If you wanted Illustrator you should have gotten it before they did. I support Open Source but I really can't stand the socialist positions the extremists take. Welcome to capitalism folks, want to live in socialism move to France.

It sound like a "payoff" scam (1)

artch (90245) | more than 13 years ago | (#113680)

or some form of e-blackmail. How does Kai-Uwe know for a fact the "dissuasion" came from Adobe? Is someone just saying pay me E2500 and I won't sue you (this time)? I smell a rat. Who is asking for the money? What is their name and business address? Inquiring skeptics want to know.

Email Repost for Readers (1)

Trinity-Infinity (91335) | more than 13 years ago | (#113681)

The site's slow for me... probably swamped already. Here's a repost for ease-of-viewing:
List: koffice-devel
Subject: Adobe and KIllustrator
From: Kai-Uwe Sattler
Date: 2001-07-02 7:27:28

I have just received a dissuasion from an Adobe lawyer that the name "KIllustrator" would violate Adobe's trademark and I should pay 2500 euro. So, I have closed the website at the moment. Could somebody with access to remove all information about and links to Killu, please?
Kai-Uwe Sattler

He should change it to... (1)

kdgarris (91435) | more than 13 years ago | (#113682)

...KAdobeSucks :-)

Seriously though, if this sticks, then KWord may face a similar threat from Microsoft down the road.


Re:Adobe is right here.... (4)

kdgarris (91435) | more than 13 years ago | (#113683)

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.


Other soft by Adobe (2)

he-sk (103163) | more than 13 years ago | (#113708)

Wasn't FrameMaker once ported to Linux? And, IIRC, Distiller does also exist in a Linux version. Also, could the behavior of Adobe be excused, if they had ported all their products over to Linux? I think not!

IMO, Adobe makes very decent software. I used PageMaker to typeset first my school newspaper and then my school yearbook and while I found the UI somewhat irritating, it produced great results. Photoship still kicks ass, and even on Linux I use PDF exclusivly when creating documents (with pdfTeX).

In the light of this, Adobe's attitude towards other companies or competition is very sad. (Kinda like Apple?)

Re:All right then... (2)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 13 years ago | (#113712)

Fine... Hell, KDraw would probably be clearer. KVector would be fine. Hell, KVDraw would be okay.

The rest of the world extends effort on branding. They spend a fortune. The Open Source "community" can spend a 15 minute brainstorming session instead of just ripping off the name of an existing product.

This is INTENDED to Cause Confusion (5)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 13 years ago | (#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.


Re:Where do we send emails? (1)

pingflood (105369) | more than 13 years ago | (#113719)

I think we should bombard Adobe with Emails, Amnesty International Style. Does anyone have the Email address for the CXOs?

Yeah, that'll teach them. A buncha people, who wouldn't buy anything from them since nothing's available for Linux, sending emails. I'm sure it'll greatly influence their decisions.

Re:He should change it to... (1)

havachu (108698) | more than 13 years ago | (#113725)

...KAdobeSucks :-)

I vote for Killadobe.

Re:Time to port (2)

bfree (113420) | more than 13 years ago | (#113734)

You can't have it all! 3D software is doing better in getting ported to Linux than nearly any other commercial sector. Maya, Houdini and Performer are all across to start with. I guess you are looking for 3DSMax, Softimage and Lightwave, but if I remember correctly Softimage and Lightwave are both coming! Just because your favourite app hasn't been ported to your favourite OS does not mean you can knock the OS! I would guess graphics professionals from an SGI platform would make the exact same comments about having to keep their Indy/Onyx/Reality Station around if they are trying to change to any other platform. Video Editing software on the other hand ... it would be nice to see anyone porting over to Linux.

Re:Who is at fault for this? (1)

rob_from_ca (118788) | more than 13 years ago | (#113743)

IANAL, but actually, it's quite the contrary. Trademarks explicitly exist for the protection of common words and phrases as they apply to businesses. The phrase "where do you want to go today?" is trademarked. Microsoft can't stop you from saying it, but they can stop you from using it to promote your produce.

Of course the name is slightly differentiated. In a normal case you'd lose by only slightly changing the name, but since this one is so simple and generic, it could go either way in court.

Basically, if it creates confusion, then Adobe can win. Will the courts decide that the average user has any trouble differentiating between KIllustrator and Illustrator? Tough call.

Re:Who is at fault for this? (1)

rob_from_ca (118788) | more than 13 years ago | (#113744)

Errr...that was supposed to be "product", not "produce". They probably couldn't stop you from using that phrase to promote your produce; the products are too different. Unless Microsoft wanted to move into the produce market...

Re:Why Not More Original Names? (4)

jfmiller (119037) | more than 13 years ago | (#113745)

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.

Re:Adobe releases KLinux (2)

pi_rules (123171) | more than 13 years ago | (#113748)

Linux is a word that has no other meaning what-so-ever outside the realm of computers. Like the original posteter said, "Illustrator" is a generic word which describes the purpose of the program. I don't see it as being any worse than StarOffice or OpenOffice vs. Microsoft Office.

Where do we send emails? (1)

nwonknu (126391) | more than 13 years ago | (#113753)

I think we should bombard Adobe with Emails, Amnesty International Style. Does anyone have the Email address for the CXOs?

My newest software (1)

bacontaco (126431) | more than 13 years ago | (#113754)

My new software package will be called 'I', that's it, just 'I'. That was I can sue anyone who uses the letter I in the title of the software.

I guess Adobe just doesn't realize how silly and ridiculous this whole thing is. It's not like they're stealing customers from Adobe, with Killustrator being for Linux, and Adobe with uhm... absolutely no programs for Linux.

My suggestion (1)

penguin_nipple (127025) | more than 13 years ago | (#113755)

Since the point has already been mentioned:

Microsoft Office

additionally since according to Adobe lawyers KIllustrator seems to be insufficient, would'nt:


Be more than sufficient? Just a suggestion.

Can you even trademark this? Look in the... (2)

x-empt (127761) | more than 13 years ago | (#113756)

Since when can you trademark a work as common as "illustrator" when applied to computer programs?

Seriously, I've seen many programs that are advertised as an "illustrator tool" or such.

I mean, look in the dictionary [] , it has 4 different definitions! Can you trademark all four uses for it?

in US$ (1)

LazyGun (138083) | more than 13 years ago | (#113763)

is about 2160 US$

ghostscript? (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 13 years ago | (#113771)

they didn't get upset when the opensource community used ghostscript as their free postscript interpreter.

sounds like they are being selective. can this be used against them (you either defend ALL your trademarks or none...)


All right then... (1)

-=OmegaMan=- (151970) | more than 13 years ago | (#113778)

How about "KVectorBasedDrawingProgram?"

Rename it like they ask (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 13 years ago | (#113784)

Rename it to:


That should keep them happy, and if they complain again, you can use the WIPO decision about -sucks domains as proof that you are complying with the law.

kind of like cereal/band confusion (1)

TTop (160446) | more than 13 years ago | (#113791)

This reminds me of another dispute [] where Kellogg's cereal tried to block a band from trademarking the name "The Toucans", claiming that it infringed on their "Toucan Sam" trademark and also claimed damages as a result of the band's name! They claimed the band's name confused their customers. More details of the dispute. []

Pending Lawsuits (1)

J x (160849) | more than 13 years ago | (#113794)

And in other news, SlashDot is being sued by:
Guns N' Roses, who has a trademark on "Slash"
Warner Brothers, for the Animaniacs character "Dot".


Re:question? Euros to dollars (1)

panum (161455) | more than 13 years ago | (#113796)

What is the current exchange rate of Euros to dollars

As of today, 1 Euro == 0.8455 USD.


But isn't "Adobe" generic too? (2)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 13 years ago | (#113801)

Adobe is a term to describe a style for building dwellings popular in the southwest US.

Do you have issues with the fact that the company name is registered as a trademark? If so, you are essentially saying that one can only trademark words or phrases not in the accepted lexicon.

Re:Actually... this is flagrant... (2)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 13 years ago | (#113805)

I completely agree. Typical "linux is good, everyone who makes more money than me is bad" slashdot zealots...

Guys, come on. It's obvious that KIllustrator is named that way to identify it as an alternative to Adobe's product. I think the attempt by Adobe to make money from past actions is wrong, but asking them to change their name is certainly justified.

Killustrator! (5)

The Gline (173269) | more than 13 years ago | (#113812)

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.)

Re:Adobe is right here.... (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 13 years ago | (#113815)

It is a program for creating illustrations.
Therefore, it is an illustrator program.

Okay, now there are two such programs. One is called Adobe Illustrator, the other is called KIllustrator. They don't even sound alike. "K" holds no resemblance at all with "Adobe".

Adobe relies on open source... (1)

mcdu (177440) | more than 13 years ago | (#113816)

Illustrator 9.0 has the capability to export to SVG [] , a technology that Adobe actively promotes.

The amusing part is that they really promote the fact that the SVG standard is open and, as such, Open Source development is a large part of the promise of SVG.

I hope Adobe realizes how much they rely on Open Source for the success of this initiative.


Prof. Frink: "Here is an ordinary square."

Adboe is right (1)

SnapperHead (178050) | more than 13 years ago | (#113820)

There are plenty of simular names they could have used. How about kIllustration, its different enough. Is the same thing as SSH and OpenSSH, sure there different. But, someone new to the sceen might not know the difference.

If they don't defeand there name, how can they in the future. Now, weather or not Adobe should port there products to Linux is a completly seperate issue.

until (succeed) try { again(); }

Re:This IS idiotic, but not for patent. (1)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 13 years ago | (#113835)

This is not over patents. Although the linked message does not explicitly state this, this is either trademark or servicemark. See comment 20 [] for more info.


Re:ghostscript? (1)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 13 years ago | (#113836)

#include "responses/IANAL.h"

The logic here is slightly flawed though. You either defend all cases against a particular trademark, or none. The same as with patents (I believe). However, this does not relate between your trademarks. On a side note, apart from rhyme, the only part of Postscript/GhostScript similar is "script", and there is little chance that this would have stood up in court. Nice idea though, it really is too bad it wont work.


Re:Actually... this is flagrant... (1)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 13 years ago | (#113837)

Yes and no. Yes they probably named it after (the same reasons adobe chose) Adobe Illustrator. But should the issue here be whether they should be able to be sued or not, or whether Adobe should have been granted a trademark in the first place?


Who is at fault for this? (2)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 13 years ago | (#113838)

It seems to me that they are filing under trademark law, but not in the USA. In the USA a trademark may not be filed if it is for a generic term. In a perfect world. But the world is not perfect, and may trademarks are granted (Toast, anyone? Perhaps SSH?) If a company builds a brand name that is obscure (Yahoo!, for example) then all well and good, I believe they ought be able to preserve that; but I do not believe you should be able to file and receive a trademark for a name which describes the product and/or its abilities. ie Illustrator.

Just my 2c.


geez (1)

Nullsmack (189619) | more than 13 years ago | (#113843)

I think I'm going to try to trademark the word "motherfucker" so I can sue all rappers that speak english.

Just as soon as "Abusing the Legal System for dummies" comes out.
-since when did 'MTV' stand for Real World Television instead of MUSIC television?

um, hello, generic term? (1)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 13 years ago | (#113844)

I can see how taking a trademarked (or even commercially used and later trademarked) term could, in some cases, be considered infringement (see 0&mode=thread [] ). But, um, last I checked, "illustrator" was a generic term. No monkeybusiness with capital letters in the middle, or it actually being an acronym, or whatever. It's a plain word. I thought they couldn't do that.

A Better Solution... (2)

ChaoticCoyote (195677) | more than 13 years ago | (#113851)

...would be for people to be original in developing Linux products?

I'm not defending Adobe here -- but who knows, maybe they have a Linux Illustrator in the works, and have reason to defend their trademark? Just something to think about...

Intellectual honesty time: Would KIllustrator have that name if Adobe Illustrator didn't exist?

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.


Of course, Linux itself is a clone, so maybe I'm expecting too much of its developer community...

Write a killer app for Linux, and people will come.

Scott Robert Ladd
Master of Complexity
Destroyer of Order and Chaos

Time to port (1)

KeyShark (195825) | more than 13 years ago | (#113857)

Linux has gotten big enough that Adobe has to recognize it as an OS for their software. I personally would really like to see some more graphics software for Linux. Not having some of the big 3D software is what has kept my windows partician around.

you are missing the point (1)

FeltTip (203551) | more than 13 years ago | (#113864)

The lawsuit is over the name, not the function of the software.

I totally agree (5)

FeltTip (203551) | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

I doubt it (5)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 13 years ago | (#113877)

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! []

KName KChanges (1)

wardomon (213812) | more than 13 years ago | (#113880)

I think that we should just put a "K" on every possible computer product, thereby claiming it all as our own. Think of it...KAapple, KSun, KIBM, KUnreal, KExcel, KXWindows. As long as we're keeping the lawyers working, we could expand into the real world with KMart and KCar.

Now, about the letter "G".

Re:Why Not More Original Names? (1)

BlowCat (216402) | more than 13 years ago | (#113884)

The difference is that GAIM embeds an acronym where "A" stands for AIM, AOL ultimately for America. So it's like GNU/GNOME/Gtk+ America Online Instant Messenger.

On the other hand, Illustrator is a dictionary word, not an acronym.

Re:Actually... this is flagrant... (2)

Pravada (217899) | more than 13 years ago | (#113891)

Right. I think that the big thing with trademark law (at least in the US) is that if a product's name is close enough to cause confusion, it's a no-no. KIllustrator and Illustrator are similar products and close enough in name to cause confusion to the non-linux crowd...

Now if you had named a set of colored pencils KIllustrator or Illustrator for that matter, there'd be no problem?

Lawyers, am I wrong? Set me straight

Re:kind of like cereal/band confusion (1)

The Troll Catcher (220464) | more than 13 years ago | (#113892)

I wish you were joking, but i'm afraid you probably aren't - HOW ON EARTH could anyone mix up Froot Loops and music?

Shakespeare was right.

Re:Adobe has a point here (1)

The Troll Catcher (220464) | more than 13 years ago | (#113893)

Well, I never connected KIllustrator and Adobe Illustrator at all - I thought it was just a descriptive name. What else could you call it? CoolVectorDrawingProgram?

Unfortunately, probably indefensable (2)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#113903)

I'm distressed that I have to agree that use of the 'Killistrator' name is probably indefensable, from a trademark perspective. I wish it were. There doesn't seem to be an approach to this case that would provide protection for it's use in relation to a graphics program.

On the otherhand, if we were to create a first person shooter in that name, let Adobe try and fight that. Perhaps in this came you blast the heads off little pissant corporate lawyers. Sounds fun doesn't it?



hrm... (1)

codefreez (241042) | more than 13 years ago | (#113908)

So there really aren't any friendly corporations out there, huh?

This is idiotic (1)

darkworm (252052) | more than 13 years ago | (#113914)

When the hell is all this crap about patents going to stop!! This is getting to the point where every week I read another company getting pissed at one small linux developer. Grow up guys!

We wearing blaze orange now? (1)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 13 years ago | (#113917)

I thought we were a bunch of underground programmers writing code because we enjoyed doing so and because we didn't feel like using the closed source alternatives. Now we're freedom fighters for the right to write and have large 'Decoy' signs painted on our blaze orange jackets as closed source companies who charge money for the stuff they write don't like what we're doing? I used to be a nice guy. Now I *want* to put these god damn companies out of business. Who's stifling who's creativity here?

2500? (1)

beri-beri (256875) | more than 13 years ago | (#113920)

Yes, but what about this 2500? Sounds like a ridiculous amount of money compared to the weight of the trademark. Ah, they must have heard about the salaries in German universities... that figures :)

Re:Yeah, and maybe .. (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#113928)

I don't think Apple and Sun are trademarked. I believe "Apple Computers" and "Sun Microsystems" are.

That's the point. Why should companies flip out when an ordinary part of their name (like the word apple, or sun) is used as part of another name. If I called my software company Red Apple, Inc., Apple Computers should not sue me just because I used the word Apple in my companies' name. You missed the point completely.

Re:Adobe is right here.... (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#113929)

I think I can tell the difference between Adobe's software and KDE's software though. It's not deceiving me into thinking that KIllustrator is actually Adobe software, so what's Adobe's big beef?

Re:Why Not More Original Names? (1)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 13 years ago | (#113933)

Hell yeah! What's the Linux Photoshop alternative. It's the GIMP. Maybe not the best of names for a software package, but certainly original and thankfully, not GPhotoshop.

what's wrong with adobe? (1)

bzzzt (313005) | more than 13 years ago | (#113947)

I guess Adobe tech support got quite some calls for support for their "Illustrator on KDE Linux" port... Big company or not - I'd be upset too if my software got a bad name due to an unrelated program.
Why did the KDE folks choose such a similar sounding name in the first place?

Adobe releases KLinux (3)

mveloso (325617) | more than 13 years ago | (#113966)

no infringement there, either. duh.

ridiculous (1)

sethbc (411688) | more than 13 years ago | (#113970)

This is ridiculous, it reminds me of the GAIM, LIBFAIM, etc. crap

Adobe has a point here (3)

Invisible Agent (412805) | more than 13 years ago | (#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

God damnit!!! (1)

Supa Mentat (415750) | more than 13 years ago | (#113982)

Why can't big software companies with seemingly no interest in Linux leave it alone so we in the trenches can have our own little revolution in peace??!!!! *ahem* Who else thinks _kill_istrator sounds really cool?

question? Euros to dollars (1)

Genoaschild (452944) | more than 13 years ago | (#114000)

What is the current exchange rate of Euros to dollars so I can put it in a prospective I can relate to. If I had the money I would pay it. The project is opensource software and should not be sued for using a common word in their product. If I had a company called something like BS-Word I would get the bejeezes sued out of me because Word is trademarked by MS but is a common English term and could actually represent a non-related product such as a word synthesizer.

Re:Yeah, and maybe .. (1)

Kenyaman (458662) | more than 13 years ago | (#114020)

Right, and me starting a computer firm named "Apple Computors" would infringe on that trademark by causing confusion.

I never thought about the connection, but the two programs are basically competing, so I think KIllustrator should change its name to something that doesn't sound like it's related. KNotAdobeButStillAnIllustrator or something :)

Re:Yeah, and maybe .. (1)

Unknown Bovine Group (462144) | more than 13 years ago | (#114028)

I don't think Apple and Sun are trademarked. I believe "Apple Computers" and "Sun Microsystems" are.

So I'm not gonna get sued if my company is Apple Microsystems or Sun Computers?

Re:Adobe releases KLinux (1)

Enlightened_0ne (463443) | more than 13 years ago | (#114031)

"Illustrator" Is also a term that describes a certain job. I.e comic book companies hire "Illustrators" to draw their books. Now, shouldn't Adobe go after them?

Re:Where do we send emails? (1)

Thomas M Hughes (463951) | more than 13 years ago | (#114036)

"I think we should bombard Adobe with Emails, Amnesty International Style. Does anyone have the Email address for the CXOs?"

Behaving like a spammer doesn't exactly help in arguments against spammers.

Now on the other hand, you might write an email saying "While I found your products useful in the past, your abuse of the US trademark system has left a sour taste in my mouth. As such, I will no longer be spending my money on your products, as a way to discourage these practices." Make a reference to the story, etc, etc. Whining like a baby, and spamming the crap out of them isn't exactly going to help your case.

If anything, it'll let them say "Look how immature these people are, all the more reason we want to distance ourself from such foolery."

Re:Why Not More Original Names? (1)

Thomas M Hughes (463951) | more than 13 years ago | (#114037)

My guess is that developers use clone names, because most of the time they're attempting to use clone projects.

You want GAIM to be associated with AIM, because that's what it does. If you name it something like NickerNackerFooFoo, how will anyone know what the heck that does?

KOffice is another one. It wasnt to be known as an office suite, so therefore, they call themselves what the competitor does, so that consumers will easily identify what the package does.

KIllustrator may have been a bit too close though I think. There are lots of alternative names for drawing programs. Similar might be said for KWord. Sometimes you are getting a little too close to cloning.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?