[buug] replaced the Unix copyright stuff so they don't call it Unix(tm)

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
Sun May 3 01:04:01 PDT 2009

Quoting "Tony Godshall" <togo at of.net>:

> Yeah, I guess Solaris is the closest thing to a corporate Real Unix
> around today.  Of course they, like BSD, replaced the Unix copyright
> stuff so they don't call it Unix(tm) either.  Of course now they are
> owned by Oracle, and they've open-srouced much of it...

No, actually the reason so many Unix and UNIX (R) variants (primarily)
use names other than UNIX - most notably for the operating system
itself, mostly has to do with what historic controls have existed on
the UNIX (R) trademark.  Before it was handed over from Novell to what
was then X/Open Company (now The Open Group), exactly who could and
couldn't call their software / operating system UNIX (R) was, at any
given point in time, directly or indirectly under the thumb of exactly
one company that owned the trademark, and would sell branding rights on
whatever terms and conditions they chose (typically tens of thousands
or dollars or more - just to barely get started).  This is a fair part
of what sparked the Unix Wars.  That's also why so many other operating
systems didn't call themselves UNIX (R) or claim to be UNIX (R) - but
they'd certainly make claims about compatibility, etc.  Hence names
such as Cromix, Xenix, HP-UX, AIX, Irix, Ultrix, Tru64, SunOS, Solaris,
etc., etc.  By the time UNIX (R) trademark was handed off to X/Open
Company, most other vendors of what was quite effectively Unix - if not
UNIX (R) in name, had the Operating System names/brands pretty well
established, and wanted to distinguish themselves, ... so, ...
although they typically also wanted to stick UNIX (R) on their products
(and most have done so), many/most didn't change their names on account
of that (though some did).  So now, among UNIX (R) variants, most don't
use UNIX as part of the name of the brand product, though some do.
Along the history of UNIX, many, even if they licensed the source code
and rights to develop and resell binaries from such, may not have
licensed use of the UNIX name - hence even many that used what was then
UNIX source code didn't use the UNIX name (e.g. Xenix).

Since then, UNIX (R) is an "open" standard - for certain definitions of
"open".  The standards themselves are free - as in beer, not freedom.
UNIX (R) branding is available - not for free - but on at least a much
more level playing field than it was historically (cough up enough
money to be tested, pass the tests, "earn" the right to use the UNIX
(R) branding).

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