TIBCO Software Inc. announced Thursday that it has filed suit against Apple in the District Court for the Northern District of California. TIBCO alleges that Apple has infringed upon TIBCO’s trademarks “with the intention to trade on TIBCO’s goodwill and harm TIBCO’s business.” The company seeks unspecified remedies against Apple “for the competitive and economic harm caused by Apple’s acts.”
The lawsuit stems from Apple’s use of the word “Rendezvous.” Rendezvous is Apple’s name for the zero-configuration networking technology integrated into Mac OS X v10.2, “Jaguar.” Apple’s Rendezvous enables Macs and other Rendezvous-aware networkable devices to discover each other automatically, creating an instant, ad-hoc network.
Apple has open sourced the code for Rendezvous, and since first announcing the technology the company has seen third-party adoption from peripheral manufacturers and software developers as well. Rendezvous itself is built on an open technology specification called Zeroconf.
TIBCO Software is a developer of business integration software. The company said that it has maintained Rendezvous as a trademark since 1994. TIBCO’s Web site describes Rendezvous as “an industrial-strength messaging tool that allows application developers to build scalable distributed applications.”
In a statement, TIBCO Software claimed that Apple already knew about TIBCO’s own Rendezvous trademarks and calls Apple’s Rendezvous “closely related” to TIBCO’s own.
TIBCO chief marketing officer George Ahn called Rendevous one of his company’s flagship products. “For quite some time we have tried to reach an amicable agreement but, given Apple’s continual refusal to honor our trademark, we have been forced to take action,” he said.
An Apple spokesman told MacCentral that Apple has no comment on pending litigation.