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Comodo attempting to register Let’s Encrypt trademarks
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Comodo attempting to register Let’s Encrypt trademarks

Some months ago, it came to our attention that Comodo Group, Inc., is attempting to register at least three trademarks for the term “Let’s Encrypt,” for a variety of CA-related services [1][2][3]. These trademark applications were filed long after the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) started using the name Let’s Encrypt publicly in November of 2014, and despite the fact Comodo’s “intent to use” trademark filings acknowledge that it has never used “Let’s Encrypt” as a brand.

https://letsencrypt.org/2016/06/23/defending-our-brand.html

Here is Comodo CEO's comment on that

https://forums.comodo.com/general-discussion-off-topic-anything-and-everything/shame-on-you-comodo-t115958.0.html;msg837411#msg837411

What a dick move..

Thanked by 3netomx rm_ GCat

Comments

  • IshaqIshaq Member
    edited June 2016

    Thanked by 3MikeA TheKiller GCat
  • tommytommy Member

    why they dont registered lets encrypt name from beginning?
    I said that a business :)

    amazon used as a name of river thousand of year before amazon.com TM that name right?
    yahoo, apache too

    you dont own the name when you use it, you own the name/log/branding if you TM that name.

  • jackwzjackwz Member

    @tommy said:

    Big mistake for sure.. Still what will Comodo get from this ? Just bad publicity.. with no assurance to get the TM

  • Comodo is a desperate company right now. Pretty sleazy move.

    Thanked by 1rm_
  • I never really used Comodo for SSL certificates, as I'm a loyal customer of GeoTrust's RapidSSL :p

    Figures, since Comodo probably isn't making all that much money ever since Let's Encrypt came out.

  • So instead of Let's Encrypt (let us encrypt) they should use LET's Encrypt (Low End Talk's Encrypt).

  • edited June 2016

    I don't get this.
    They fully describe their trademark and it all seems legit. That is until you search uspto.gov and the only search terms for "Let's Encrypt" are for Comodo.

    What were these people thinking? Somebody at Let's Encrypt dropped the ball.

  • CrogicCrogic Member

    https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/4ph4c1/comodo_attempting_to_register_lets_encrypt/d4l3b8p

    Peter Steinberger ‏@steipete Comodo configured their email server to reject any email with a @letsencrypt URL in it, flagging it as"virus". Okay.

  • rds100rds100 Member

    So Comodo are crooks and letsencrypt are idiots.

  • @rds100 said:
    So Comodo are crooks and letsencrypt are idiots.

    Sounds about right!

  • tommytommy Member

    @Crogic said:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/4ph4c1/comodo_attempting_to_register_lets_encrypt/d4l3b8p

    Peter Steinberger ‏@steipete Comodo configured their email server to reject any email with a @letsencrypt URL in it, flagging it as"virus". Okay.

    Believe what ever people said :D Good for you.

    After I saw these message I try to send few email from different account, no one rejected by them.

    Thanked by 1Crogic
  • Why LE did not care to protect its project name? I can not understand how they would miss it.

  • JarryJarry Member

    Reading that comodo-forum I can not help myself: Melih is real dick!

    "...We are the good guys that have been giving free SSL certificates since 2007 and managing them!..."

    Yep, you are so good you give hundreds of "Google", "Yahoo" etc certificates to whoever asks for them (government-customers preferred)...

  • @DreamCaster said:
    Why LE did not care to protect its project name? I can not understand how they would miss it.

    To snare the scummy CA's in their trap.

  • @globalRegisters said:

    I don't get this.
    They fully describe their trademark and it all seems legit. That is until you search uspto.gov and the only search terms for "Let's Encrypt" are for Comodo.

    What were these people thinking?

    They were probably thinking they don't have to register a trademark to be protected. They'd be right, too. Sure, it complicates matters a bit when companies like Comodo decide to be dicks, but that's all really Comodo's fault.

    Thanked by 3Maounique jvnadr Pwner
  • emgemg Member
    edited June 2016

    My guess is that Let's Encrypt is operating on a thin budget with many unpaid volunteers, and they decided to take the risk and forego the costs of registering the trademark and defending it.

    My guess is that Comodo is predatory and saw the opportunity. Comodo may have assumed that they could more easily afford attorney costs, compared with Let's Encrypt, so that Comodo could win a war of attrition and capture the trademark.

    Because of its own active involvement and publicizing Let's Encrypt, the EFF should have helped Let's Encrypt register the trademarks. Hopefully the EFF will step in now to support Let's Encrypt in its dispute with Comodo.

    Personally, I do not like Comodo. I have found several large companies whose certificates won't validate on my Mac, because the Comodo root certificate that they use is not included with the Mac operating system. TLS connections from Apple Mail fail and the user must make an exception by adding the offending certificate to their personal store and then trusting it. Why Comodo continues to issue these certificates (or doesn't get the root CA added to Apple's OS) is hard to understand.

  • JarryJarry Member

    If someone starts some free (open-source) not-funded project, he sure does not think first on registering trademarks for software/service that does not exist yet, or is in very early stages of development (with questionable future).

    That's probably what happend with Let's Encrypt: they did not expect to by so popular and sure at the beginning they did not have so many sponsors (and thus no funds to register trademarsk).

    Comodo's business as CA is suffering because of many leaked forged certificates and resulting negative publicity. They simply looked for the way how to revive it, and found one: to "steal" customers from Let's Encrypt. Very rude way of doing business...

  • dailydaily Member

    @emg said:
    My guess is that Let's Encrypt is operating on a thin budget with many unpaid volunteers, and they decided to take the risk and forego the costs of registering the trademark and defending it.

    Check their sponsors, they aren't without money.

    Thanked by 1asf
  • vpsguyvpsguy Member

    Trademark is granted Based on who's using The brand name first and not who registers it first. Even unregistered trademark is protected under common law.

  • @vpsguy said:
    Trademark is granted Based on who's using The brand name first and not who registers it first. Even unregistered trademark is protected under common law.

    True, in theory that's the case. Reality taught me it's all about money though. I had been using a brand for over 10 years, registered and all in my country. Been using the matching domain for over 10 years. But what do you do when a big international corporation comes knocking on your door? We didn't have the funds to go to court. Tried it but eventually decided to let it go as cost would get out of control.

  • Aaaand, it's over.

    Comodo has filed for express abandonment of the trademark applications at

    this time instead of waiting and allowing them to lapse.

    Following collaboration between Let's Encrypt and Comodo, the trademark

    issue is now resolved and behind us and we'd like to thank the Let's Encrypt
    team for helping to bring it to a to a resolution.

    ggwp. I guess I understand why they feel threatened, but I think this isnt the wisest move.

    Thanked by 1impossiblystupid
  • emgemg Member

    @eastonch said:
    Aaaand, it's over.

    Source please? I tried various web searches to find it, and could not.

  • @emg said:

    @eastonch said:
    Aaaand, it's over.

    Source please? I tried various web searches to find it, and could not.

    Also on the 2nd page of the forum link.

    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11973232

    Can't tell if it is official or not.

  • eddynetwebeddynetweb Member
    edited June 2016

    [wrong thread, hehe]

  • @vpsguy said:

    Trademark is granted Based on who's using The brand name first and not who registers it first. Even unregistered trademark is protected under common law.

    This is not true in many jurisdictions.

  • vpsguyvpsguy Member

    @seaeagle said:
    @vpsguy said:

    Trademark is granted Based on who's using The brand name first and not who registers it first. Even unregistered trademark is protected under common law.

    This is not true in many jurisdictions.

    Atleast in India and uk it's true iam sure majority of countries follows same
    else it will be more like domaining business . In india there is specific section for trademark trafficking which states that if you don't intent to use but trying to sell trademark is an offence.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Member, Top Host, Host Rep
    edited July 2016

    So things got a bit more interesting in the Comodo feud with Lets Encrypt.

    The newest update to cPanel that just rolled out includes the following:

    AutoSSL

    Offer your customers automatically renewing SSL certificates on all of their domains with
    our AutoSSL functionality, powered by COMODO.

    This is a much better way to fight fire with fire instead of being dicks like they were.

    Even still, because of their previous actions we'll continue with LE.

    Francisco

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