Re: Web of Triust is not an epinions trademark!

Tim Berners-Lee (
Tue, 16 Nov 1999 20:10:19 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: Guha <>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <>
Date: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 5:39 PM
Subject: Re: Web of Triust is not an epinions trademark!

>Ok, all the TM signs should be off in a few hours
>(there was no trademark claim filed).


>As far as I can make out, the epinions concept of
>web of trust is substantially different from the
>PGP concept.

I haven't checked the details.

>If there are places we should link
>to (in attribution), I'd appreicate it.

The PGP FAQ is
but I couldn't find a definitive place.
Some mentions of the phrase at W3C are appended.


Thank you - kutgw

A few places the concept has been mentioned - some of which you know well!

In two two slides in my INET'95 talk (June 1995)

In the RDF press release, (October 1997)
"With digital signatures, RDF will be key to building the "Web of Trust" for
electronic commerce, collaboration, and other applications."

In Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax Specification W3C
Recommendation (22 February 1999)

It gets a small section in
"Realising the Full Potential of the Web" Tim Berners-Lee, London,
(December 1997)


The PGP web of trust see

not to mention

>Tim Berners-Lee wrote:
>> This is not about jobs, but is sent to the only real email address I
>> on your site. Please pass this on to your management.
>> Your assertion that "Web of Trust" is a trademark I find quite offensive.
>> have used the term for a long time to identify a concept and I am myself
>> embarrassed that I don't always find a way to give credit to the PGP
>> community who used it, long before that, to identify a concept they were
>> promoting. Please desist from claiming trademark of something which is
>> clearly generic and if owned, would not be owned by epinions.
>> I would point out that the assertion of trademarks on generic terms, like
>> the assertion of the patentable novelty the processes which are not
>> generally considered novel, is looked on with justified disdain by the
>> development community.
>> Tim Berners-Lee