CNET News.com: Ssh! Don’t use that trademark; ‘SSH’ now a generic term, via wide usage

“For security-conscious system administrators, three letters
have become a household word when it comes to securing remote
computers: SSH. … Yet the three letters also describe the
original program developed by Tatu Ylonen in 1995 and trademarked
in March 1998. Now, as the founder of SSH Communications Security,
Ylonen wants others to stop using it.”

“Helsinki, Finland-based SSH Communications maintains two
versions of its SSH Secure Shell product, one it sells and one it
gives away free. But neither carries the GNU public license, which
would make them open source. The largest open-source project–and
Enemy No. 1 for SSH Communications in the trademark battle–is
OpenSSH, an effort to create a free open-source version of the

“Regardless of its origins, the word has become the generic
description for this type of software,” said Michael Bednarek, an
intellectual property attorney at Washington, D.C.-based law firm
Shaw Pittman.
“As far as I can tell, there is no other name
for it.” Bednarek asserts that SSH Communications inadvertently
let the name slip into the public domain, similar to how Bayer lost
the trademark to “aspirin” in the United States.”


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