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Trademark Tiff Looms

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
5/28/2003

Some friction is brewing (bubble bubble) between enterprise-oriented wireless LAN startups Bluesocket Inc. and Trapeze Networks Inc. over two simple words.

No, not 'chocolatey and delicious' or even 'boundless varekai' (see Trapeze’s Switch Switcheroo ). In fact, Bluesocket is getting hot under the collar about Trapeze's use of the words: 'Secure mobility' [ed. note: borrrrrring].

Both firms have product aimed at roughly the same market. Bluesocket ships an 802.11 security appliance aimed at the enterprise crowd, while network security is a big focus of the wireless LAN switch Trapeze hopes to start shipping soon (see Bluesocket Plugs In andTrapeze's High Wireless Act).

Bluesocket says that it has trademarked the term, which Trapeze also uses in its marketing, and that the rival 802.11 firm should either license it or stop using the words. "We dropped by their booth at N+I and suggested they might want to stop using the term," Patrick Rafter, communications director at Bluesocket, wrote in an email to Unstrung.

However, Trapeze says it has talked to trademark lawyers and feels that 'secure mobility' is a term that can't be trademarked. "The thing is, it's like 'high performance' -- it's an adjective and an adverb, and you can't really trademark those kinds of words," says George Prodan, senior VP of marketing at Trapeze.

Well... actually it's an adjective and a noun, but point taken.

— By Mennen!™

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