Apple Sued For Rendezvous Trademark Infringement

[Update 1:56 PM CDT: Apple has officially given us a comment of "We donit comment on pending litigation" in response to our questions on this story. - Editor]

Apple knowingly stole the Rendezvous name, according to a lawsuit filed against Apple by a company called TIBCO. In a press release today, TIBCO says that "Apple has carried out acts infringing on TIBCOis trademarks, with the intention to trade on TIBCOis goodwill and harm TIBCOis business." TIBCO alleges that Apple knew about the TIBCO trademark on the Rendezvous name when it released its own Mac product called Rendezvous last year.

TIBCO is a "business integration" solutions provider. Its Rendezvous product is a networking technology that is designed to allow developers to build cross-platform applications across networks.From the companyis Rendezvous FAQ:

TIBCO Rendezvous software is an industrial-strength messaging tool that allows application developers to build scalable distributed applications. TIBCO Rendezvous software enables diverse applications to share data across LANs and WANs. Programs on heterogeneous platforms communicate transparently with self-describing data messages and subject-based addressing.

TIBCO says that it began using the Rendezvous trademark since 1994, and another trademark for TIBCO Rendezvous in 2000. The company says that Appleis Rendezvous, which is a networking protocol designed around the ZeroConf protocol, infringes on that trademark.

In a statement from TIBCO, George Ahn, chief marketing officer for the company said, "Rendezvous has been a TIBCO mark for many years and is one of our flagship products. For quite some time we have tried to reach an amicable agreement but, given Appleis continual refusal to honor our trademark, we have been forced to take action."

As of press time, Apple had not returned TMOis request for comment, though Apple typically does not comment on pending lawsuits.

Appleis Rendezvous is a networking protocol designed around the ZeroConf protocol. It allows devices on a network to communicate with each other without configuration from the user. Appleis Rendezvous is what allows iTunes to share local playlists automatically, and is also used in apps like iChat, which can automatically see other iChat members on a local network. Apple also uses the technology in its file sharing services in Jaguar.

From the world of third party developers, printer manufacturers have used Appleis Rendezvous to make networked printers automatically discoverable, and even TiVo has used the technology for its Mac-based networking abilities. Apple released Rendezvous as an open source technology under the Apple Public Source License.