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As we know,

  • Oracle owns the Java and JavaScript trademarks from its purchase of Sun.

  • Java and JavaScript are 2 completely unrelated programming languages.

  • JSON is the abbreviation of "JavaScript Object Notation", and is a popular format for encoding structured data.

Can Oracle sue JSON users?

  • user of parsing softwares,
  • and developers of parsers and encoders, and
  • ECMA, who publishes the JSON specification

What can Oracle possibly win (and JSON users possibly lose) in such litigation?

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  • 2
    "No, this isn't a JSON parser; it's a prealpha, feature-incomplete YAML parser."
    – Someone
    Mar 8, 2023 at 6:53
  • Javascript and Java are very much related JS name is derived from Java. Javascript is not its official name though as it is currently known officially as ECMA Script 6
    – Neil Meyer
    Mar 9, 2023 at 16:31

1 Answer 1

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I don't think so. While JSON stands for "JavaScript Object Notation", it doesn't say that. So the term "JSON" isn't infringing on a trademark for "JavaScript".

To sue somebody because of an alleged trademark infringement, one needs to prove that the offender abused a trade name of the suing company in a way to make the public believe the offending company was related to the suing company. Nobody is even trying that by just using a file format. The file structure itself was developed as an open standard, so they can't claim any rights on that.

I have not heard about a company claiming rights in file structures recently, because the data is considered the property of the user, not of the company that wrote the program it was created with. And users are often no longer accepting file formats that can only be read by a specific (expensive) application from a particular company. They want to be flexible to change their vendor and keep the data.

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  • It doesn't say that? ECMA-404 2nd ed starts with: “JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation and was inspired by the object literals of JavaScript aka ECMAScript as defined in the ECMAScript Language Specification, Third Edition.” And it cites RFC-8259 “The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data Interchange Format”
    – amon
    Mar 8, 2023 at 9:45
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    @amon Still, that's not a trademark infringement, just a reference. It's very hard to think of a scenario that could be. Maybe if the standard would claim something like "JSON is the next version of JavaScript", but this is utter nonsense, so this won't happen.
    – PMF
    Mar 8, 2023 at 10:18
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    I always thought JSON was a stupid abbreviation of Jason, the guy who invented it. Let oracle prove otherwise.
    – gnasher729
    Mar 8, 2023 at 10:29

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