Skip to content


Xen Trademark Policy Update

The updated Xen Trademark Policy based on your feedback is almost complete and ready for final community inspection; however, I did get a response from Citrix about the decision to restrict usage of the Xen name in products. Please feel free to add comments or send me any questions. Thanks.

The comment from Citrix legal is as follows:

Citrix, in conjunction with the Xen AB, seeks to protect the trademarks associated with the open source Xen® hypervisor in order to both strengthen the public’s identification of the Xen marks and prevent the widespread and unregulated use that can sometimes lead to trademark genericide.  This is for the benefit of all those in the Xen community who distribute and contribute to the open source project, and not just for the benefit of Citrix.  It is for these reasons that the Xen Trademark Policy was originally put forward.

With respect to the limited restriction on product names combining “Xen” with another name, Citrix believes this restriction is in keeping with XenSource, Inc’s longstanding use of “Xen” in the names of the company (“XenSource™”) and its flagship product (“XenServer™”), which is now marketed by Citrix.  Citrix believes, and hopes that the community understands, that use of other Xen-combined names might confuse potential users  of Citrix-sourced products as to the source of a particular product or service. Since all Xen-based commercial products on the market today (of which Citrix is aware) from other vendors are all non-Xen branded, Citrix believes that this is the appropriate time to clarify this issue.

For example, an ISV may create a service for registering servers running Xen and decide to call the service “XenRegister”.  A reasonable IT consumer could be confused and assume that the XenRegister service is sourced by XenSource and Citrix.  Instead, the ISV could call their service, for example, “VM Registration for the Xen® hypervisor” or “MegaRegister™ for Xen®,” or any other name which is in keeping with the Xen Trademark Policy and does not reasonably confuse an IT consumer as to its source.

Ultimately, the Xen Trademark Policy benefits all those who use or assist in the development of the Xen® hypervisor, in part by maintaining the value of the Xen Marks.  Citrix must police the marks in accordance with the Policy and in conjunction with the Xen AB in order for everyone to see value in their use as product identifiers.  Otherwise, the trademark can become a generic term (see escalator or aspirin in the U.S.) at which point anyone could call their hypervisor “xen” regardless of the source of the hypervisor.


Be Sociable and Share!

Posted in Community, Xen.org Promotion.

Tagged with , , , .


One Response

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Xen Updates Trademark Policy Update | Virtualization.com linked to this post on May 18, 2011

    [...] you most probably know, Citrix has updated its Xen Trademark Policy last week “for the benefit of all those in the Xen community who distribute and contribute to [...]

You must be logged in to post a comment.