June 21, 2001

SAMBA trademark dispute finally settled

Author: JT Smith

Johannes Loxen writes: "The dispute over the name SAMBA has been finally settled. On behalf of the SAMBA team, the company Service Network GmbH (SerNet) paid
a token price of DM 1.00 to the consulting company CMG in
exchange for the trademark rights to the name of the Open Source software

Moreover, CMG, which owns the trademark "SAMBA" in the category "data
processing" (for a banking software named Standard Anmeldung Meldewesen
Banken), also conferred on SerNet the right to grant sublicenses to other
distributors of the Open Source software SAMBA for the use of this name.

Thanks to the efforts of SerNet's lawyer, CMG has gone far beyond its
original plan which merely envisioned a waiver of the issue of further
warnings to SAMBA users. The license agreement negotiated by SerNet and CMG
lawyers is only useful for business support providers who want to benefit
from trademark protection. Mere users of the Open Source software are not
affected by the license agreement. The sublicense, that can be ordered from
consists of a short
license confirmation by SerNet and a copy of the license agreement.

Having covered all previous expenses incurred by this issue, SerNet intends
to charge a EUR 10.00 fee for handling expenses. The sublicense itself is
free of charge.

"Open Source software has been part of the existing software landscape for
a long time now and is usually considered as an enrichment rather than a
competitor," remarks Johannes Loxen (Ph.D.), Managing Director of SerNet.
"From our point of view, it is very important to solve occasional problems
regarding e.g- trademark and copyright issues as simply and legally
unambiguously as possible. The solution found by CMG and SerNet in the
SAMBA case can be considered as a precedent."

About SerNet:

SerNet (Service Network GmbH) was founded in late 1996 as a service
provider in the field of network security. Open Source software is employed
whereever possible. SerNet promotes the diffusion and utilization of Open
Source in all industrial sectors as well as in public administrations. It
produces and distributes the official CD-ROM of the SAMBA team (an
international group of developers for the Open Source software SAMBA) and
offers support and consulting services for this server software. SerNet is
a member of the Linux association LIVE e.V."


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