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JavaPolis -> Javoxx -> Devoxx

Posted by fabriziogiudici on September 10, 2008 at 2:03 PM PDT

This morning I've been really surprised when I read the newsletter from Javoxx (former JavaPolis) and learnt that the belgian guys had to change again their name, because even Javoxx was a trademark problem for Sun lawyers.

Boys, this is unbelievable. The Antwerp conferences are one of the most important european events for the Java world (in my personal opinion they are the most important event) and this is a big benefit even for Sun itself, of course. Not forgetting that JavaOne is fantastic (but a lot of Europeans can't afford the expenses), yet many people prefer independent conferences for a number of reasons. I really appreciate a mix of the two genres, but I'd like to recall that the best JavaFX presentation I've seen so far (at J1) was done by Stephan Janssen, of JavaPolis fame. So Sun should take really care of that.

Instead, not only the guys had to give up with the JavaPolis brand, that was well estabilished, but even forced to another change on the fly, just a few months before the event (I understood that Sun offered some kind of agreement for the Javoxx name, but it implied some limitations, so the BeJUG preferred to accept more difficulties and preserve their complete freedom).

Sun, you know, I love you, but this time you deserve a big blame.

To sum up and avoid confusion:

  1. Devoxx is the new name of the former JavaPolis conference.
  2. If you live in Europe, you can't miss it. It's cheap and filled with great contents (it seems strange but BeJug is able to do this magic). Every year it gives a big push to my understanding of the technology and I have the chance of meeting a lot of great people. Probably most of the good things that happened to my professional life in the latest two years, including being member of the NetBeans Dream Team, have been triggered by attending JavaPolis.
  3. It is also fun and I'm told that Belgium offer great beer (I can't tell you this by myself as I don't drink beer).
  4. You can't miss it and should not book your attendance too late, as the event was sold out last year and it's likely to repeat its performance.
  5. So, I really hope to meet you in Antwerp in December.


Fabrizio understand your concern...but there's more to happy to explain offline... Meanwhile, Sun has addressed this on their PR Blog... Aaron

@Stolsvik I understand that Sun has to protect the Java brand, and this is in the end even in the interest of us, who invested in the technology. Nevertheless, for initiatives of such high reputation as JavaPolis, I think that granting them the right of using the word _with no limits_ wouldn't cause any harm for Sun. If you fear that in five years the BeJug could been colonized by people hostile to Java, just put a temporal limit to the agreement, mandating that it will be re-negotiated every four years or such. @felipe Yes, in the end everybody is still a friend to others, that's not the problem, is that organizing a conference is not easy and avoidable troubles have been put on people's shoulder. I understand that lawyers get paid for creating troubles in fancy ways, but the rest of the world isn't.

As counter part, Sun subscribed Devoxx as platinum sponsor, so I guess it came from a negotiation between Devoxx organizers and Sun.. anyway, Sun will be there with full strengths and their best speakers .. and this is more important for me than a name..

See you there..

Wow that's ridiculous. But Sun never did do very well in regard to PR and marketing, it's a loooong list.

eh.. an island, I meant..! The Sun lawyers have work set out for them for a while, though:

This is stupid. Shooting themselves in the feet like that. In a way, this is like biting the hand that feeds you..! Can they claim trademark infringement?! The name is obviously related, but have sun claimed trademark to everything with the name of "Java" in it? Microsoft couldn't claim "Windows", as it is too generic. Thank gods, money apparently can't buy you all. Java is a country, a brand of coffee. How can Sun claim trademark infringement on names that _contain_ this generic term? It seriously seems like lawyers within Sun haven't got enough to do, trying to construe "threats" all around, ending up strangling their friends. It would be really funny if Devoxx started hosting .Net and all that Adobe stuff too, just to point out that it now turned into a generic Developers conference, and not a Java-specific one. Ho-ho. How have JavaZone in Norway handled this? I hope by the way of "the finger"..! :-)