[board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

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[board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

Julia Kreger
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Re: [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

Thierry Carrez
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Re: [Foundation Board] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

Arkady Kanevsky
Dell Customer Communication - Confidential

I will skip by-laws angle as it is only means to achieve a goal.

Trademarks really serve two purposes:
1. it is a common definition and common language.
2. protection and path to branding.

As we moved to OIF, trademark for OIF as the whole does not bring value. But having trademarks for each projects under OIF umbrella make sense.

Suggest we look at two audiences.
1. Users/Operators
2. Vendors/Providers.

The first ones want to ensure that when they develop apps/tools using OIF projects APIs they will work on "all" vendor/providers "products" (including upstream).
The second ones deliver products/services based on OIF projects.

Both parties want to have branding for the "contract" between two audiences.
And interop is just a tool for that branding.

In my view, interop cam at the right time when there were a lot of churn and a lot of implementations, and unclearness which openstack projects work together.
We are past that stage for OpenStack.
But for other OIF projects we are in various stages.
Some of them are two new to have multiple implementations or vendor products based on them.
Some, like Kata Containers, never intended to be standalone.

But we still need branding, but in my view per OIF project.
My 2c.

Thanks,
Arkady

-----Original Message-----
From: Thierry Carrez <[hidden email]>
Sent: Monday, November 30, 2020 3:51 AM
To: [hidden email]; [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Foundation Board] [OpenStack Foundation] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?


[EXTERNAL EMAIL]

Julia Kreger wrote:
> Over the past few weeks I’ve been in a number of discussions regarding
> some of our most very fun topics. Branding, Trademarks, and
> Interoperability.
> [...]

Thanks Julia for starting this timely and important discussion.

I agree that trademarks are not a goal in themselves, they are just means to an end, and periodically revising those end goals is necessary.

To add some historical context, my summary would be that until now the Board has been using trademarks to drive two strategic objectives:

1- Interoperability: a enduser-centric view of what to expect when interacting with "openstack", driving ideally towards an identical experience. The tactics (driven by RefStack) were focused on making sure a minimal set of APIs were available in products allowed to call themselves "openstack", and try to grow that set over time.

2- Branding: an ecosystem-centric view of building a set of "compatible"
products, driving ideally toward establishing a large marketplace. The tactics used for the first objective encouraged products to apply for the trademark programs, which was used as a funnel for the marketplace.

As we enter the OIF era, are those end goals still valuable? Are trademarks the best tool to achieve them? Are there other key goals we should leverage trademarks for? Are the current tactics we use (Refstack and powered-by trademark programs) still valid ?

--
Thierry Carrez (ttx)

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Re: [Foundation Board] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

Amy Marrich-2
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Re: [Foundation Board] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

Julia Kreger
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Re: [Foundation Board] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

Arkady Kanevsky
Dell Customer Communication - Confidential

Julia,
Agree with you except for "integrated" projects like OpenStack.
If we are to foster integrated solutions that include multiple projects they need to be branded and trademarked together.
That is very complication starts for projects that are both standalone and integrated.
We may have to go with multiple trademarks for a single solution/ integrated project.

Something to discuss at the board.
But I also think we should pull in TC/UC team for it.
Thanks,
Arkady

-----Original Message-----
From: Julia Kreger <[hidden email]>
Sent: Friday, December 4, 2020 3:07 PM
To: Amy Marrich
Cc: Kanevsky, Arkady; Thierry Carrez; [hidden email]; [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] [Foundation Board] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?


[EXTERNAL EMAIL]

In reading the replies thus far, I tend to agree branding and trademark should fall within the project scope. What I mean by that in my case, is I think the projects themselves need to express what is important to them. Perhaps that should become part of what a project is expected to state?  A project should have the ability to state their own desired destiny along with their scoping and mission statements (if present). I think the same could be said for interoperability and as we move forward into the OIF.

Maybe a reasonable thing is for the Foundation to do the basic needful in terms of marks (trademark, branding, etc.); However, then allow the project to determine their own next steps. We don't want to be in a situation where a project joins us and then has to rename/rebrand due to a conflict down the road due to something unforeseen.

I think it is up to the board to foster a larger open infrastructure ecosystem. Not only through our actions on the board, but the encouragement and voices we have outside the context of a board meeting.

Where the topic of fostering a larger open infrastructure ecosystem leads, at least in my mind, is an area that is vague when I start to think of "How?". That is, in part, because I think we would want to encourage cross-community integrations and co-operation to reach logical conclusions and ultimately solutions. At a high level, that seems ideal to myself. What does not seem ideal is detailed technical requirements being approved by the board. In my opinion, we should set the direction and help enable that to be reached easily. The logical conclusion from my point of view is that projects should be able to define what is interoperability to them. In some cases, it could be "Adhere and conform to x, y, z standards", or "able to pass x test", or "Able to be leveraged for $purpose".

Amy raises a great point that things will get more difficult, if not impossible, if we attempt to apply the same or expanding detailed requirements upon new and existing projects.

-Julia

On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 11:39 AM Amy Marrich <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Like Arkady I think branding and trademarking should be at the Project level but also with an overall brand and trademark for the Foundation. Interoperability is a more difficult thing in my mind. I think we should still have interoperability between vendors who offer a product based on one of the OIF's projects. So as mentioned the same OpenStack API call in theory that works on one vendor should work on all vendors, a Kata container should work the same, etc.
>
> Where I think it gets a bit more difficult is as we add more projects should those new projects be interoperable with existing projects. In planning the face to face meeting, we had discussed the goal of adding projects that complemented what we had already to create an overall Open IInfrastructure in which case all 'Open Infrastructure' projects should be able to work together. But if more distantly related projects are added I don't think it can be expected to have that same interoperability.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Amy
>
> On Mon, Nov 30, 2020 at 10:30 AM Kanevsky, Arkady <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Dell Customer Communication - Confidential
>>
>> I will skip by-laws angle as it is only means to achieve a goal.
>>
>> Trademarks really serve two purposes:
>> 1. it is a common definition and common language.
>> 2. protection and path to branding.
>>
>> As we moved to OIF, trademark for OIF as the whole does not bring value. But having trademarks for each projects under OIF umbrella make sense.
>>
>> Suggest we look at two audiences.
>> 1. Users/Operators
>> 2. Vendors/Providers.
>>
>> The first ones want to ensure that when they develop apps/tools using OIF projects APIs they will work on "all" vendor/providers "products" (including upstream).
>> The second ones deliver products/services based on OIF projects.
>>
>> Both parties want to have branding for the "contract" between two audiences.
>> And interop is just a tool for that branding.
>>
>> In my view, interop cam at the right time when there were a lot of churn and a lot of implementations, and unclearness which openstack projects work together.
>> We are past that stage for OpenStack.
>> But for other OIF projects we are in various stages.
>> Some of them are two new to have multiple implementations or vendor products based on them.
>> Some, like Kata Containers, never intended to be standalone.
>>
>> But we still need branding, but in my view per OIF project.
>> My 2c.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Arkady
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Thierry Carrez <[hidden email]>
>> Sent: Monday, November 30, 2020 3:51 AM
>> To: [hidden email];
>> [hidden email]
>> Subject: Re: [Foundation Board] [OpenStack Foundation] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?
>>
>>
>> [EXTERNAL EMAIL]
>>
>> Julia Kreger wrote:
>> > Over the past few weeks I’ve been in a number of discussions
>> > regarding some of our most very fun topics. Branding, Trademarks,
>> > and Interoperability.
>> > [...]
>>
>> Thanks Julia for starting this timely and important discussion.
>>
>> I agree that trademarks are not a goal in themselves, they are just means to an end, and periodically revising those end goals is necessary.
>>
>> To add some historical context, my summary would be that until now the Board has been using trademarks to drive two strategic objectives:
>>
>> 1- Interoperability: a enduser-centric view of what to expect when interacting with "openstack", driving ideally towards an identical experience. The tactics (driven by RefStack) were focused on making sure a minimal set of APIs were available in products allowed to call themselves "openstack", and try to grow that set over time.
>>
>> 2- Branding: an ecosystem-centric view of building a set of "compatible"
>> products, driving ideally toward establishing a large marketplace. The tactics used for the first objective encouraged products to apply for the trademark programs, which was used as a funnel for the marketplace.
>>
>> As we enter the OIF era, are those end goals still valuable? Are trademarks the best tool to achieve them? Are there other key goals we should leverage trademarks for? Are the current tactics we use (Refstack and powered-by trademark programs) still valid ?
>>
>> --
>> Thierry Carrez (ttx)
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Foundation-board mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foundation-board
>> _______________________________________________
>> Foundation-board mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foundation-board
>
> _______________________________________________
> Foundation mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.openstack.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foundation
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Re: [Foundation Board] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

Kurt Garloff-2
In reply to this post by Arkady Kanevsky
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