About trademarks in the IAM business

These days I have learned that Fischer International Identity has trademarked to pretty generic terms:

  • Identity as a Service (TM)
  • IaaS (TM)
I wondered (and still wonder) about that. Fischer declared that they have invented that type of business ("a services-based architecture built from the ground-up for the express purpose of cost-effectively delivering identity management capabilities via the Software as a Service (SaaS) model"), built on a SOA architecture, supporting multi-tenancy, being able to work across firewalls. Honestly: Yes, they are an innovator in that space.

Unfortunately, that isn't the only technology to which the terms mentioned above are applied. There are many different identity services. External identity providers for OpenID, strong authentication services, SSO for the cloud,... - to all these services the terms IaaS (TM) and Identity as a Service (TM) are frequently applied. And if you look at Application Security Infrastructures, then it is as well about providing identity services.

Thus, I agree with Fischer that they are sort of a pioneer in providing "provisioning as a service" (which would be PaaS) but I don't agree with their view on that they have invented they entire market space for which these terms are used today. Anyhow, it is a little like Daimler having trademarks on "car", "Automobil", and other related terms, isn't it!?

On the other side: Maybe I shouldn't bash on Fischer for trademarking (why not try to get them?), but the ones on the governmental side which have agreed to trademark these very common terms. What will be next? SaaS (TM)? Cloud Computing (TM)? I really can't understand that such common terms are trademarked (and I will use some related but somewhat different terms in the future). However, anyone who uses these terms has to attribute ownership of the mark to Fischer International Identity, like they have stated. Let's look how they deal with the trademarks in practice. And be careful when using these terms.

To comply with the trademarking stuff: Identity as a Service (TM) and IaaS (TM) are trademarks owned by Fischer Internation Identity.



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