Update on Java trademarks

Jakarta EE negotiations between Oracle and The Eclipse Foundation hits a roadblock

Sarah Schlothauer
jakarta ee
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What’s going on with Jakarta EE? Since the opening up of the Java EE, the switch from Oracle to The Eclipse Foundation has been underway. The latest news explains what is happening regarding the negotiation process, including the inability to come to an agreement regarding trademarks.

In 2017 Oracle announced the opening up of Java EE and moving it to an open source foundation. Since then, the migration to the Eclipse Foundation has been a long, steady process. Negotiations between The Eclipse Foundation and Oracle continue to take place. The Eclipse Foundation’s Mike Milinkovich posted an update blog on May 3, 2019 regarding the status of Jakarta EE and its community.

How are the negotiations progressing?

Negotiation updates

The news reveals that some of the trademark negotiations are not reaching a consensus that benefits both parties.  About this update, Mike Milinkovich writes:

Unfortunately, following many months of good-faith negotiations, the Eclipse Foundation and Oracle have been unable to agree on terms of an agreement for the Eclipse Foundation community to modify the javax package namespace or to use the Java trademarks currently used in Java EE specifications. Instead, Eclipse and Oracle have agreed that the javax package namespace cannot be evolved by the Jakarta EE community. As well, Java trademarks such as the existing specification names cannot be used by Jakarta EE specifications.

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What was Oracle’s response?

Oracle’s Senior Director Will Lyons wrote on the Jakarta EE update blog: “From Oracle’s perspective, we remain committed to work with the Jakarta EE Working Group and the Jakarta EE Specification Process to create the Jakarta EE Platform. I believe the other members of the Jakarta EE Working Group feel the same way. We intend to deliver a Jakarta EE 8 Platform and evolve that Platform going forward so that the entire community can contribute to, and leverage, Jakarta EE.”

Committee meetings

For a more detailed view of these negotiations, Milinkovich points to the committee meeting minutes documented by The Eclipse Foundation.

The committee notes from Eclipse reveal some of the process and potential options.

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Furthermore, the meeting discussed concerns about attracting negative attention from the community:

The Board also discussed the impact the length of negotiations has had. In particular, Mike DeNicola expressed that the delay in completing the negotiations and advancing the Jakarta EE technology is intolerable. He reminded the Board Java EE had become very slow to innovate over the past number of years. He further explained the Java EE community was frustrated with Oracle’s pace of innovation and the challenges with the JCP process, and believed there was significant goodwill gained when it was announced that Java EE was moving to Eclipse.

He stated the 18+ month delay is causing the community to no longer care. He also noted Oracle’s proposal to change the namespace would also cause the TCK to be broken, further alienating the community. Jim Wright highlighted for the Board that Oracle has spent significant time and resources in bringing the donation of Java EE to Eclipse, and that Oracle is committed to the success of Jakarta EE.

Community opinions

How does the community weighs in on the decision (or lack thereof)? The Java EE Guardians Google group discusses the news with mixed responses.

Java EE Guardians member Reza Rahman posted two surveys on Twitter for the community to chime in on:

Currently, 66% of respondents hope Jakarta EE ditches javax “as soon as possible”. Meanwhile, 20% say they hope for javax to stay as long as possible. (12% of respondents remain unsure.)

Java Guru, Markus Karg, writes that Oracle “killed Java EE“. We will continue to keep up with updates and negotiations between parties.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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