Apple files for “WebKit” trademark

"Patently Apple" reports that apple has filed for a trademark on "WebKit". You can find the actual application at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

I'm not exactly sure what this means, but WebKit is starting to get a lot of recognition. Whoever holds the trademark could be in a very good position compared to other companies using WebKit. I guess it also shows just how important browser technology is, and it will only become more important in the future.

I'm also wondering if this might just move Google closer to forking WebKit.

Time will tell.

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14 thoughts on “Apple files for “WebKit” trademark

  1. I don't see where this is any cause for alarm. The only bit of open software I know of which isn't copyrighted and trademarked by its owner is SQLite. There's probably more out there. I don't specifically go looking for copyrights in free software, mind you.An example of similar open source software would be Mozilla's Gecko. Gecko's code is copyrighted and the name is trademarked by Mozilla.

  2. Originally posted by lksd:

    Said an Apple user.

    Apple uses Webkit in a lot more than just SafariGoogle only uses webkit for part of the browser, they have their own javascript engine

  3. Originally posted by Khadgar:

    I don't see where this is any cause for alarm

    ^ Said an Apple user.

  4. Originally posted by Chas4:

    Apple uses Webkit in a lot more than just Safari

    to be honest, I'm confused with this reply, where else does apple use Webkit besides Safari?

  5. AFAIK they use it for Dashboard, Dock etc. – Webkit is used heavily as main shell rendering engine, correct me if I am wrong, I'm no Mac user …I don't understand the implementations of American trademarks: Are they just a brand name or is the product coupled to the name something like patented?If the second it would be bad, if the first: Where is the problem? Just don't use the name…BTW: Linux is trademarked too: http://www.linuxmark.org/ – so what is the problem with trademarks as soon as Apple holds them?

  6. The Linux trademark is held by an independent organization specifically created for that purpose. They will allow anyone to use it.Apple, on the other hand, is a commercial company with an interest in making money and keeping things exclusive to themselves.Also, won't trademarks expire unless they are constantly enforced?Getting out the popcorn…

  7. Originally posted by cloudssunshine:

    where else does apple use Webkit besides Safari

    On a Mac they also use it in Mail, I believe, and a little in iTunes I think, you can even try the nightly webkit (I think Apple tests that a lot)

    WebKit is an open source web browser engine. WebKit is also the name of the Mac OS X system framework version of the engine that's used by Safari, Dashboard, Mail, and many other OS X applications. WebKit's HTML and JavaScript code began as a branch of the KHTML and KJS libraries from KDE.

    May be used a bit on the Windows end also

  8. Interesting read. There's lots of movement in the Web, shifting, and overlapping… digital dancing. I recall you had a recent Tweet about Opera and Open-Source. Was it calling out WebM, WebKit, or is Opera's current Open-Source project Dragonfly going to grow into full Open Source Opera?Cheers!

  9. Heh, not sure if Apple has proper rights to do anything with the name at this point. Also not entirely certain that this trademark will matter, beyond either charging to call your browser webkit or forbidding others to use the name at all.This is one of Apple's little QA things; just as Firefox is trademarked and must be redistributed UNCHANGED to have logo rights (IceWeasel, lolifox, Flock, SeaMonkey, all use Firefox codebase but are renamed to reflect that they are in fact different), Apple will probably require "Webkit"-branded apps to include specific functionality. There are several "WebKit on *blank* is not WebKit" articles out there. You cannot optimize for UA: WebKit when everyone's implementation is slightly different, but lazy developers try it anyway.

  10. Originally posted by digitalinksmudge:

    is Opera's current Open-Source project Dragonfly going to grow into full Open Source Opera?

    I hope not.

  11. Originally posted by Cutting Spoon:

    just as Firefox is trademarked and must be redistributed UNCHANGED to have logo rights (IceWeasel, lolifox, Flock, SeaMonkey, all use Firefox codebase but are renamed to reflect that they are in fact different)

    I'm not sure what lolifox is, so that might be relevant, but I'm pretty sure that's not the reason Flock and especially SeaMonkey have names that aren't Firefox…

  12. Strictly speaking, if it's not a faithful straight-compile of the Firefox sources, you can NOT use the name or graphics associated with Mozilla's proprietary browser. This is a serious quality assurance measure, as the open-source nature of the program could lead to fragmentation or maliciously compiled cloneware. The extra-lean firefox 2.0 for Damn Small Linux had to be called Bon Echo (2.0's codename) because it was not "Firefox". Debian was using Ice Weasel as the name for truly FOSS Firefox, because the Firefox branding and QA did not mesh with Debian's relaxed hacktivism.Flock is modified from Firefox, SeaMonkey is a recreation of the Mozilla Suite (reintegration of Firefox, Thunderbird, several other components, plus extension support; the closest thing to Opera's features). lolifox appears to be a defunct project, it was a customization and reskinning project for "otaku" apparently.The thing that makes this so crazy, is that Apple's "WebKit" is normally called Safari. In a breaking story that wouldn't surprise anyone, Mobile Safari really isn't Safari either; and it certainly is not WebKit. So Apple is claiming rights to the name "WebKit", which describes a source tree and chain of third-party products (mostly on handheld devices). Android devices will probably find that they aren't allowed to say "WebKit", "Mobile WebKit", "Powered by WebKit" / "WebKit Compatible" (excepting a brand-licensing deal), "Chrome", "Mobile Chrome", etc. So every slight variant on the WebKit sources will suddenly need to have its own name. Messy.

  13. Originally posted by Cutting Spoon:

    Flock is modified from Firefox

    I know, but as far as the argument goes they might've called it Firefox Flock if permitted, but not plain Firefox, would they? :POriginally posted by Cutting Spoon:

    SeaMonkey is a recreation of the Mozilla Suite (reintegration of Firefox, Thunderbird, several other components, plus extension support; the closest thing to Opera's features).

    Reintegration? It already did all that for me while it was still Mozilla Suite and code was shared before they discontinued the product afaik? 🙂 I can't really find any reintegration on this list either? https://wiki.mozilla.org/SeaMonkey:New_for_2.0Anyway, you do of course have a point in that they didn't use the name Mozilla (Application?) Suite for roughly the same reason that close-to-Firefox derivatives like Iceweasel can't either.Originally posted by Cutting Spoon:

    lolifox appears to be a defunct project, it was a customization and reskinning project for "otaku" apparently.

    If I were doing that I'd want a recognizable name. (btw, you don't need to like lolis to be an otaku afaik <_<)

  14. Partial association is allowed by some conventions, but not others. One place where it is allowed would be Puppy Linux. First, "Puppy" is the environment and "Linux" is the basic OS type. Puppy has many "Puplets" and other fiddly bits, and there are third-party versions with names that mostly include "-pup". (macpup 061 came bundled with Opera for its browser)I haven't fully explored the options, but apparently naming is very concrete for Mozilla properties. "Mozilla" means that the sources are maintained directly by Mozilla itself, so third parties cannot use the name. "Firefox" is a browser, "Thunderbird" is a mail client, "Seamonkey" is not a Mozilla property (a community maintains the code and tries to add new features from both community and Mozilla sources), "Flock" is the product of a web startup operating on venture capital.Apple had best not be granted the right to the WebKit name; they'd probably introduce fees and/or restrictions on the branding. Possibly they would even make it more difficult for WebKit-branded products to compete in the market.

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