Apple asks FaceSpan to abandon product name change

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Digital Technology International (DTI) and Oldham Associates LLC are currently crafting a new version of their visual AppleScript builder, called FaceSpan. The new product will be Mac OS X compatible, but if Apple's Intellectual Property Counsel has its way, FaceSpan's developers may have to find a new name and a new way to describe it.

In a letter to company officials, Apple's Counsel has asked FaceSpan's developer to stop using the names Visual AppleScript, Visual AppleScripter, the domain and the tagline "It's Visual AppleScript," which it currently uses on shipping products of FaceSpan.

FaceSpan gives the user a visual way to build AppleScript applications. It includes editors for constructing windows, scripts, and menus, as well as a management environment through which you can inspect, edit, duplicate and delete each application's scripts, interface components and resources.

Apple indicates in the letter, dated November 8, 2001 that the Visual AppleScript names "will likely cause people to think that your companies' goods and services originate from or are sponsored by Apple or that there is some association or relationship with Apple."

The makers of FaceSpan had applied for a trademark for the Visual AppleScript name, but the application was refused. Undeterred the company added an "er" to the end of the name and are currently waiting to see if Visual AppleScripter will be accepted by the trademark office.

"We want to take some time and research this," Nate Oldham, FaceSpan Product Manager, told MacCentral. "Our feeling is that not all of their requests are backed legally -- we would like to keep some of it to give our product a better description. FaceSpan is known to the people who use it, but we think VisualAppleScripter gives someone a quick knowledge of what the product can do."

DTI does plan to make FaceSpan for Mac OS X and hopefully have it completed by the end of the year. The company had planned to change the name of the product from FaceSpan to Visual AppleScript for the upcoming OS X release. Obviously, the name change may have to wait, but the product will go ahead as planned.

"We'll still make the product for OS X, the only question will be what we'll actually call it," said Oldham. "We're going to have to sit down and make a decision on what we are going to call our next version. We also have to work out the details of our Web site, our domain names and if we want to continue using VisualAppleScripter or not."

An Apple spokesperson contacted for this story declined to comment.

This story, "Apple asks FaceSpan to abandon product name change" was originally published by PCWorld.

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