Would changing the "Unity8" name be less confusing than keeping it?

  • I have it on good authority that the "Unity8" name arose by accident at a time when Unity8 was part of Canonical's strategy and was expected to replace their default Unity desktop environment which was then at version 7.

    Times have changed: Canonical is no longer active on either Unity desktop or Unity8; and both projects are being continued by others. Maybe one day Unity desktop will have another major release. Maybe they will follow 7 with 8? It would seem logical.

    There's also continuing confusion with Unity.

    On the other hand, Unity8 is in common usage and change is hard.

  • I don't think there is any confusion though. Since it makes sense that we are continuing this project, people will treat it "as an update" as it is. The only thing that's changed is the developer. Not only it does not cause confusion to general users, we can even drop the version number 8 for future development. If Canonial is back into the development (where the chances are minimal), they could communicate with our team

  • I think that there is a lot of confusion out there, both with Unity8 and with Ubuntu Touch. Many people, including those in the Linux community, think that the convergence dream died with Mark Shuttleworth's announcement last April. Others assume - why would they not? - that because it carries the Ubuntu name, that UT must still be being developed by Canonical. And, as you say, there are others still developing Unity7 - why would they not want to use Unity8 for an updated version...

    I think it is coming to the point where a distinction needs to be made. And actually, a strong name would perhaps attract other users. The trouble is: all the ones I've thought of using - Open OS being the strongest - have already been taken. It leaves me feeling quite unimaginative! 😕

  • @littlephone There is confusion: For example, people join our telegram group expecting support for Unity desktop and Unty3d.

  • @alan_g We should change the group name to Unity 8 Desktop Shell 😀

  • Whether or not UBports wants to register a name as a trademark (I think it should), UBports should approach name selection with an eye toward trademark law. That is, among other criteria, distinctiveness and potential likelihood of confusion must be considered.


    As @alan_g points out above:

    There's also continuing confusion with Unity.

    Whether or not “Unity” as used by UBports/Canonical creates a likelihood of confusion (within the legal meaning) with “Unity” as used by Unity Technologies, I won't speculate. But keep in mind that, regardless of what anyone in this forum thinks, Unity Technologies may have other thoughts. And depending on the arguments presented, a court (and/or trademark registration authorities, such as the EUIPO, USPTO, etc.) may side with Unity Technologies.


    From a purely marketing (not legal) perspective, given that UBports is working toward convergence, why not refer to mobile and desktop using the same name?

    If UBports hasn’t already done so, now would be a good time to contact appropriate legal counsel to discuss whether “Touch” is likely registrable and non-infringing in target markets.

    Although it would be fun for the community to discuss possible new names in public, keep in mind that cyber squatters (and trademark squatters) are listening. So, although antithetical to common practice in the open source community, public discussion of potential new names is generally a bad idea.

    DISCLAIMER: No portion of this post constitutes, or should be construed to constitute, legal advice. Rather, I suggest that UBports and/or Canonical should consult with a qualified trademark attorney to seek advice regarding these matters.

  • Guys,

    we had a lot of discussion about this in the beginning, specifically when we saw how unity8 was forked into the Yunit project (and their rocky road to a name). Currently we are no legal entity, so its needless to say, we cannot register anything. But even if we are a foundation, we will rather sign agreements with Canonical as much as required to benefit from the friendly name Ubuntu (and all things attached to it), since from a marketing perspective we would waste the effort that Canonical put into their own marketing. And we do not have the same founds at hands to introduce a new trademark in short time.

    If there is confusion about what is unity8, we cannot do much about it. But I would stick with that for the moment. And, on a longer timeframe, we will try to make clear what Ubuntu Touch is, and what not with the right marketing messages

    People coming and ask smth thats out of our context will be helped whenever we can. I think thats the advantage of our super-friendly welcome team, and the community in general. We will fix confusion immediately 🙂

  • +1 for keeping Unity8 as a name.

    Besides the massive effort in promoting the name by Canonical, it will always be based on the Unity8 source code, provided by Canonical. If it gets rewritten from the base up, its not Unity8 anymore. Same applies to Unity7 imho.

    just my cents 🙂

  • @derwalter said in Would changing the "Unity8" name be less confusing than keeping it?:

    Same applies to Unity7 imho.

    "Unity7" is not a thing. You mean Unity.

    Unity has never been promoted as anything other than "Unity" (and prior to version 7 there was version 6, 5, ...). I believe the current version of Unity is now 8.

  • @alan_g The current version is unity 7.5.0, at least the one you can install right now in Ubuntu 18.04.

  • @wgarcia you're right: https://code.launchpad.net/unity shows 7.5 as "trunk"

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