ŽITIL is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited!Let's not beat about the bush here. For absolute clarity, let no-one be in any doubt: ŽITIL is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited. Our story follows.
About 10 years ago, when ŽITIL was on the tip of so many tongues in the IT service industry, we, a handful of IT professionals, set up a wiki on this website. Specifically, it was just a sub-domain with a few pages seeded for open edit.
At the time, the concept of wiki was new, and the idea was to help people to help themselves, by creating a repository of usful information. It wasn't commercial, nor was it heavily managed. It was just the nub of an idea, which might assist others. We had done the same thing in a few other unrelated areas, and it had been fun to watch them grow. Wikipedia itself was also in its infancy.
It didn't really take off, but quite a number of people found it to be useful anyway. We know this, because they wrote and told us.
As years passed the wiki became moribund, so edit was disabled and it was frozen, for historical reference. At some point, the website engine stopped working, so only the front page, THIS page, was actually visible.
You can therefore imagine our suprise when we received an email from an organization called AXELOS Limited, making all sorts sorts of foreboding statements about trademarks and licensing. Specifically the following:
One matter we would point out here is that ŽITIL stems from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), which was a UK Government Office. ŽITIL was developed by them, and was owned by them when we created the webpage. The 'trademark' extended to ITIL in capitals, as stated on the OGCwebsite. Note also that itil not in capitals, appears to have been excluded.
For us, however, this is purely academic, as frankly, we are not interested in ŽITIL or the trademark, which is obviously of such value to AXELOS that they chase pages like ours, which existed long before they got their hands on these assets. We have no interest in a license, or paying them any monies.
Having said this, we would point out the following apparent extension of normal reach:
No, we are not using ŽITIL in the domain name, or even itil. This is a folder name, a sub-directory. This is rather different to a domain name, and is closer, in fact, to a page name. Is AXELOS seriously seeking to license the use of a four character string for page and folder names? If so, this appears to us to be a new development in the history of the internet, and the whole tech industry should be made aware. Presumably, this is a misunderstanding.
Finally, given that this is an historical page, which is not used, which simply carried basic information (see below), we can do without this sort of implied threat:
Wow. It's yours guys. You win. We surrender. You have chased what could have been a positive information source from the internet, along with any semblance of goodwill. Well done!
We share the view of others that this sort of zealous operation does nothing to help popularize ŽITIL itself. Quite the contrary, there is a view that what was once a vibrant community, which carried ŽITIL forwards, appears to have hit the buffers when innovators and entrepeneurs tired of this sort of commercially driven pressure and walked away. That is a view we share.
Do us a favour, AXELOS, and leave us alone.
For the record, this is the original page, which had simply introduced a framework, produced by the UK government, and which happened to contain the 4 characters ŽITIL a few times:
ŽITIL is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited Over and out.