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Carbon becomes Helium! And a new release too.

Some of you have already started noticing that Carbon was renamed a few days ago...


I was notified of a possible trademark infringement by "+Carbonite", so I needed to rename "Carbon" to something else. I went with "Helium". Paying a trademark attorney to fight it would put my yachts in jeopardy, so I decided to just let it go.

So, if you can't find Carbon in your app drawer, just scroll down a bit until you see Helium!

Since I was in there doing a find/replace on the app name, I figured I'd release a few bug fixes as well.

 * App icons are now stored in a .nomedia directory as a hidden dot file. Dear God, I hope this works. Redo your backups to hopefully clear out the gallery spam.
 * Fixed a bugs with PC Restore.
 * Helium's Windows Installer now includes the Universal ADB Driver as part of the installation. If you had device detection problems before, this may fix it!
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151 comments
Dave Hill
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I have a C&D order for you from Dejah Thoris ...
 
Crosses Carbonite off the list of companies I will never use along with Apple and Microsoft. I dont see how Carbon can be mistaken for Carbonite. 
 
Congratulations
you awoke a large corporation, you must be doing something right ;-)
Rich S
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I think you could win.  Carbonite is clearly different than Carbon, as carbon is completely ineffectual in preserving space smugglers.
 
They can "demand" stuff like this??
I'd be a little more polite if i was in their place..
 
Who could possibly confuse a Twitter client with a intergalactic shipping preservative?
 
I think most of us expected this day would come.
 
Helium, to me, has always been a gas.

obscure Nutty Professor reference is obscure...
 
I love how they "demand" you change it.  Can't anybody simply ask you nicely to change the name to something that won't possibly cause confusion?
 
Did they make it clear they got a Lucasfilm license to use Carbonite?

Next on the hit list:  Every publisher of the Periodic Table of the Elements.
 
I never correlated Carbon with +Carbonite .... they're really reaching there. But cool name, +Helium.
 
"Carbon" is an element name and as such wouldn't be deemed a patentable product name over here in the EU.
 
I thought Carbonite could only be used for encasing scruffy looking nerf-herders?
 
Key Koush, can I borrow one of your yachts? I just need to check out the ocean for a little while.
 
They are actually just protecting the trademark because if they don't they might loose it because of this. If +Koushik Dutta 's app was not a backup app they would probably never bothered but because it is and the name just sounds similar they have to.
 
1. Lawyers don't write nice letters.  They should (and should be supervised to do so), but ...

2. I hate to say it, but I can see why they would be concerned over another backup program (even for different platforms) that was very similar to their own product name.  _I_ don't think it should be a real problem, but I'm not a trademark attorney..
 
+Keith Myers why is coverage necessary? This happens in the tech world. It is essentially a non issue in this case.

Please don't make this blogspam
 
+Rafal Blaszkiewicz Agreed. If Carbon were a Twitter app vs a backup app, I suspect this would be a nonissue. But since they are somewhat in the same domain (they're not even on Android afaik), there is arguably a chance for confusion.
 
+Keyan Mobli - As Carbon was a popular app, I am sure that people are wondering where it went. 
 
What the hell? These are just selfish people. You should get Carbonitedes or something and send them the same letter.
 
Pretty low for a company who ripped their name off of Star Wars. Crash Plan is better anyways.
 
That communication smells of shit... carbonite it is so different then carbon that only a jackass could be confused. 
 
+Koushik Dutta Sorry to hear about that. Thanks for the heads up about the name change, though. I'll make sure to recommend the right atomic element. :-)
 
Their advertisement sucks....I have never heard of carbonite before today.
 
I wondered what Helium was. I still have issues backing up to my GDrive. It fails most times when trying to backup all apps.
 
I like the new name, Koush - good work. Better than 'Tin' or something...
 
Tis unfortunate about the name situation, but I'm glad to hear that your yachts are safe and sound.
 
Carbon is on the periodic table  number 6c, how can any one clame that to be a misuse of property rights..?
Don't get it..
 
Is there a standard STFU/GFYS letter to send back? 
 
I still can't get the app to work. I'll backup and its just well I have no I idea when I unlock my nexus4 I have no clue it shows it statue bar but that's it. I went to bed woke up 10 hours later it was still working. I've tried the cloud and SD card approach. 
 
+Koushik Dutta whatever happened with game backups not copying just the data but the data assets/entire folder?

If I want to backup a Gameloft game I have to use 1.0.2.1 which didn't have this ongoing issue
 
I wonder what George Lucas has to say about their use of the word Carbonite...

Thanks for making awesome apps!
 
+Keld Daugaard "Apple" isn't exactly uncommon, either, but a record company can call themselves "Apple" and protect that name from other record companies. A grocery store could also call themselves "Apple" and protect themselves from other grocery stores, but not record companies.

http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/
 
You have som weird laws/rules over there, but i'll get it IMO :-)  Not ony overthere , Eu too, in other ways.
 
Sales of +Koushik Dutta's application drop 200%, when the illiterate masses can't seem to spell "Helium" properly.  Yacht Party 2013 Cancelled anyway.
 
Just for fun I'm going to email carbonite asking where their android app disappeared to and why it seems to have installed some helium bloatware app
 
Well on a light note i like the name ;) . Less light of a note.. You deserve the $ for purchases and im sure your probably aware but def need more failsafes to the license verification. +Koushik Dutta 
 
+Keld Daugaard Denmark has essentially the same laws*. See The Consolidated Trademarks Act of 1991. Trademarks are worldwide, and very, very old. The Löwenbräu Lion has been a trademark since 1383, well before the US even existed. They date back as far as the Roman Empire, used by Blacksmiths to identify the creator of a particular sword.

You certainly don't want to go into the Coliseum with a cheap Wal-Mart sword.

* http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=5891
* http://ip-professionelle.dkpto.dk/varemaerke.aspx
 
"Dear God I hope this works" spoken like a true dev :)
 
Or carbomb but we dont want ya on a no fly list 
 
The name is different. Its Carbon not Carbonite. I don't understand how it could be mistaken. 
 
Gallery is still spammed by helium, QuickPic not. Builtin gallery looks buggy :D. I have latest version.
 
+Dan Silver yes its the same name but different languages but carbon and carbonite both are English words and are different.

Carbon Premium needs new name too ! Please +Koushik Dutta remember to change it !
Eze Uba
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The things +Koushik Dutta would do just to keep his yatch... We could've given them a bit of a fight instead of capitulating so quickly. You've got a huge following that will stand with you anyday.
 
What are the chances of Helium being trademarked as well? You should pick a more unique name.
 
All they had to do was buy you out for a few million dollars. No need for a nasty letter.
 
I'd tell them to pick up an English book and go fuck themselves. No joke.
 
change the name to NotFuckinCarbonAight =-)
 
In other news an army of koosh balls have filed an injunction against Developer Koushik Dutta for copyright infingement. Koushik would be well served to change his nick name before he is figuratively assaulted by thousands of rubber strands.
 
Unless you start charging monthly I don't see how they could be confused. They more than likely thought it was a good name for some future product and wanted to see if they could throw some weight aka lawyer at you 
 
Stupid letter, I would have renamed your software Corbanite.
 
Hahahaha "put my yachts in jeopardy " made my day :D
 
You should make a temporary icon with han solo frozen in carbonite for dramatic purposes 
 
Just a note. I noticed that the carbon premium asp is still called carbon on the market.
 
"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
Albert Einstein
I'm disappointed that +Koushik Dutta won't be contesting this. My opinion is probably negligible, but reading through these comments it seems many people would like to see him stand up to corporate bullies rather than to capitulate to their overreaching demands. He's worked very hard to build what he has, and is probably one of the single greatest contributors to the Android platform, especially in regards to the rooting community. Helium may be just as well a name, but that's not the point.
/end idealistic rant
 
Wankers. I mean I often mix up the words Carbon and Carbonite.
 
I wonder if the folks at Carbon Copy Cloner have ever received a C&D for confusion? I mean ... how easy would it be to call it Carbonite Cloner? *sigh* Asshats. But I do like that you've kept the new name within the Noble Gasses. =)
 
+Carbonite should rename themselves to "Methane with traces of Hydrogen Sulfide" for acting like Ass Gas.
 
+Koushik Dutta , you should NOT change your name. Change your lawyer maybe.

Nobody can trademark dictionary words, period. Apple can defend its logo but not the name. That's why Apple changed it to Apple Computers at one time.

Furthermore, your name is a separate dictionary word!

You should look up the trademark law and have a law office mail an except to Carbonite!!! This is not a case where they can drain you financially into submission... 
 
+Robert Skassa I think you are incorrect.

http://secureyourtrademark.com/can-you-trademark/common-words-phrases/

Common words can be trademarked if they are not related to the product/business.

Common words or phrases are therefore well within the scope of trademark protection, so long as the words or phrases in question are not generic for the types of products or services being provided. After all, how else would TIME (the magazine), SHELL (the energy giant), and CATERPILLAR (the equipment manufacturer) get their trademark registrations?
 
Idiot patent trolls, I would just change the name to avoid these morons, just name the app something like carbonitearetrolls.apk l lol
 
Idiot users don't know how copyright laws work; freak out when a Dev changes product name for good reason.
 
I don't believe "Carbon" can be copyrighted. It would fall under "too general". There's no way they would win. Carbon != Cabonite... If that were the case McDonalds should have an epic sue-off with Disney over Donald Duck.
 
To everyone who is commenting on the use of the word "demand" in the letter; this is the typical wording for a C&D letter. It is common legal practice to make a demand, as simply 'asking' implies that the defendant, in this case +Koushik Dutta, has a choice in the matter. The words in these letters are chosen very specifically and carefully so as to hold up in court, should the case end up there. 

In the world of trademark law, if you don't actively defend your mark, you are at risk of losing it. Carbonite is just looking out for their interests as a company. I personally use Carbonite services for online backup and this letter does not change my opinion of them as a company, nor should it yours.
 
Wonder if Vegimite has a claim against Veggie Burgers. Good thing you didn't choose Samson, too, as you would soon have heard from Samsonite. As it is, watch out for letters from Heliumite, +Koushik Dutta 
 
Name it Mimeo, at least it means duplication.
 
I'm making a new app and i will consider naming it "carbon dioxide"
 
+Koushik Dutta , you are right but only to a point. Windows(tm), Metro(tm), and similar trademarks do exist... My wrong.

But, the words "carbon" and "carbonite" are not the same by way of spelling and pronunciation. Thy are similar just like Apple and Macintosh but they are different enough NOT to be confused by 99% of English speaking population. Thus, you have the difference of definition, sound, and recognition in your favor.

Granted, the legal proceedings can be intimidating, but this in this case only Carbonite makes the motions and I doubt they can put up any meaningful fight.
 
^ I bet Apple has a patent/trademark on that...
 
+Koushik Dutta They may actually have a case.... Both use the word "carbon" and both are backup tools. If Carbon was a racing game they'd have no grounds. But since both are digital backup tools they could be some consumer confusion. IMO it's probably corporate bullying. Your app probably does better in Google Play searches for "Carbon" and "backup".
 
+Tyler Presley The word "oxymoron" contains the word "moron" yet is recognized as a completely different word. The same is true for Carbon and Carbonite. 
 
+Robert Skassa that doesn't matter. If it's simular to a name already established with a service it will be looked down upon.  Just like if I were to go out and start a new fastfood joint called hamburgerking. I would expect to get C&D. If i started a clothing chain called hamburgerking. The chances drop significantly. Check this out: 

http://tmep.uspto.gov/RDMS/detail/manual/TMEP/Apr2013/d1e2.xml#/manual/TMEP/Apr2013/TMEP-1200d1e5036.xml

It's outlined in section 1207
 
Trademark is about confusion. It is absolutely plausible that Carbonite sounds like a lite ("ite") version of Carbon.

In a court case, people who don't know/love Koush as we do would be asked if those terms sounded similar enough that they might be confused for two products from the same company. Many people might say yes.

If a company formed called ClockworkModly, or ClockworkModder, Koush would be well within his rights to tell them to cease, even though they added "ly" or "der" to the end. Trademark law isn't so brittle that a suffix can evade it.

If that asshat released an app called "ROM Manager Elite" from "ClockworkModPlus" you can bet there would be a case even though they aren't the exact words.

The holder of the trademark ARMANI opposed the trademark application ARMAN for shoes in the Iran. Despite the fact that the word “Arman” has the meaning “desire” in Persian language, the Court held that the mark would cause confusion since the marks are written and pronounced similarly

The Swiss board of appeal in a decision dated 20.8. 2002 held (confirming a decision of the Swiss Federal Court from 1984) that BALL, for watches is confusingly similar to BALLY, famous for shoes, however also protected for clothing and jewelry, because only one letter at the end was eliminated and that was not considered to exclude similarity despite the apparent meaning of BALL.

An individual, Dr. Andreas Shell, intended to use his domain name in the German cctld “.de” for private purposes, i.e. not in order to compete with the Shell company or to interfere with its business in any other manner). Nevertheless the court ordered cancellation of the domain name on the following grounds: The fame of the company name “Shell” justified a deviation from the generally applicable priority principle concerning the registration of domain names, since Internet users would expect a website .shell.de to be run by the Shell company.

http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/arab/en/meetings/2003/tm_bey/pdf/wipo_tm_bey_03_8.pdf
 
Please never post public unimportant messages ever again they simply clog up room & very few people are interested
 
Similarity of Marks
To determine whether a likelihood of confusion exists, the marks are first examined for their similarities and differences.  Note that in order to find a likelihood of confusion, the marks do not have to be identical.  When marks sound alike when spoken, are visually similar, and/or create the same general commercial impression in the consuming public’s mind, the marks may be considered confusingly similar.  Similarity in sound, appearance, and/or meaning may be sufficient to support a finding of likelihood of confusion, depending on the relatedness of the goods and/or services.

http://tess2.uspto.gov/webaka/html/Likelihood/Likelihood_of_Confusion.html
 
"an amicable solution"  right, by starting off with a "demand" and not pleasantly requesting.  
 
I didn't know it was possible to trademark an element..
 
I understand why you are not fighting it, but this is bullshit. The concept of "carbon copies" for backup and redundancy purposes predates Carbonite, Inc. by several decades.
 
The concept may predate Carbonite, but Carbon definitely doesn't.  This isn't a big deal and I side with Carbonite.  This reminds me of DJs that make their name a variation of a superstar DJ's name just to get attention.  Not saying that practice is at play here though.
 
We certainly don't want you losing the yachts. You might become a very grumpy developer...which would really suck for our Android community. 
 
+Tyler Presley , +Maxx Daymon I see your point. The sloppiness of our (human) perceptions can lead to recognizing Carbon as somehow related to Carbonite... While it is not a sure loss or win, +Koushik Dutta probably wisely conceded to the possibility of a financial burden... (I really hate to write this.)
 
Goodbye Carbon Copy, hello backing up to the cloud with Helium!
 
I just heard this. I had to come here and make sure it was true. 
 
Shared. Carbonite blows chunks. Appalling PR complete. May they learn a lesson picking on the little guy.
 
Good call on not fighting it.  Totally not worth it!   I really hate those letters though.  "We demand" is such a prick-ish way to go about things.  I think "We would ask" would've worked just fine
 
Similar thing happened with me yesterday. I made an app called Ambiance and published on Play Store 2 days back. Got a Cease and Desist mail from Urban Apps, LLC today. My app is just a simple temperature sensor reader for Galaxy S4 against the music app which they made. 
 
Master Dutta. I will be in Seattle soon. If you need anything let me know. Rember. Thought is faster than dark. Dark is faster than light. Visit Taiwan when you have some time. We would love to see you.

mtkz - #1 disciple of grandmaster Jackson

peace love one have fun
 
Name it Krypton instead. Helium Premium sounds like a rhyme. 
 
Koush's app will be successful regardless of the name. And considering that they're both backup apps it's not worth the battle whether he thought he could win or not. And kudos for being successful enough to draw their ire.
 
Life is funny in that everytime you win the game, you lose the game.
 
Helium is another music app I guess. Name it Buckminsterfullerene to avoid clashes :P
 
It makes me laugh how legal teams have to word things. Demands, demands, demands! What about a 'please' or 'would you mind'. It's almost like their sat there praying for the worst to happen. "Come on, fight us". 
 
Dear carbon-based lifeforms....we demand that you immediately... oh FFS.  What nonsense.
 
Wait till superman sees this. Sorry I mean kryptonite.
 
truly i would have just added COPY and then it would be CARBONCOPY
 
sorry to hear that, +Koushik Dutta , though they might not have the grounds, the legal cost would likely be the limiting factor... laws are on the side of ordinal people...
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Carbon is NOT equal to carbonite. Not here. Carbonite is off my list...
 
+Koushik Dutta I suppose every one here should tag their lawyer friends and those lawyers should jam together to find a solution for this and those lawyers may give u usefull tips for future app name selection endeavours 
 
And you can release a new version of your app named carbondioxide lol , it will save you from changing the names to helium for old carbon apps.
 
You probably made the best call that you could at this point. They aren't really a startup anymore, so it would cost a ton of cash to fight this. They have a bigger market and were prolly there first (in the backup market). I'm not sure how well you would come out of a battle since it is so similar as to "confuse customers". Oh well, after everyone gets word of the name change it should get back to normal.
 
Was Hydrogen already taken, or are you saving #1 for a bigger project in the works? :-p

But seriously, I agree, Carbonite does in fact own all rights to any form of the name of the most basic element common to all known life on Earth, and also, of course, to any references involving Han Solo, Jaba the Hut, or the way a bug painted over on a wall looks like Han Solo encased in carbonite -- they do in fact own this too. Another victory for justice! smhu
Paul W
 
I don't get the connotations of the new name. Carbon [copy], as in the black sheet used to copy shit, but how do you use helium to copy anything? 
Vamsi G
 
Attention: Kushik Dutta !!! :)
 
+Paul W I imagine your backups are floating up to the clouds... like on a helium filled balloon?
 
Really what CARBONITE's (note the inconsistent lack of shouting the second paragraph) is saying is that they feel their prospective customers are all daft and cannot recognize the difference in an Android app and an online backup service. Basically this letter should be perceived as "we target technologically moronic individuals. If one of our idiot customers has an Android phone, your app could upset the monkey and make him fling feces. Possibly making them think we do more that upload all your data to a potentially compromisable online data storage server." 
 
This is the same argument used with Apple iPhone vs Samsung phones really.
Both are backup programs with similar names.
Apple's was even more vague - both are rectangular smart phones with rounded edges :-/
 
+Koushik Dutta Just FYI: Downloaded the app a few minutes ago and the folder on the sdcard is still being namend "Carbon", that should probably be changed to "Helium".
 
+Thomas Heide I am not sure if I can change that without potentially losing people's backups. That folder name isn't too big of a deal, because users shouldn't need to go digging around in there.
 
+Koushik Dutta That makes sense. Just wanted to point it out. Might be a good item for FAQ, that way you can at least tell us to RTFM. 
 
Koush. You know when you say "users shouldn't need to go digging around in there" the first thing half you users did was look in the folder to see what is there. 
 
Consumer confusion? Who is +Carbonite for god sake, i've never heard about them. By the way, since when "Carbon" == "Carbonite"..? The "==" will always return FALSE in this case. -_-
 
Reading through the letter I felt it was actually pretty polite until they used the "we demand" phrase.
 
Fuck them fools eat a hot dog bitchesssssssss
Mike L
 
Boycott carbonite backup. My solution for them being complete tools.
 
+Koushik Dutta could there not be some sort or check in place for if carbon folder exists use that else create and use Helium? 
 
I don't care what some smart young pipsqueak decides to come up with a new name for something that's had a name for years or what reasons they give for it CARBON will always be CARBON in my mind & I'm pretty certain that there are an awful lot of other people out there who feel the same way. How would you feel if someone decided you did'nt own your name anymore?
 
So now that I read the law.def, I see why demand was not 'request' as I really expected after the nice tone of the rest.
For the lazy or slow cell connections:
demand
1) v. to claim as a need, requirement or entitlement, as in to demand payment or performance under a contract. In a lawsuit for payment of a debt or performance of an act, the party suing (plaintiff) should allege that he/she/it demanded payment or performance. 2) n. a claim, such as an unqualified request for payment or other action. 3) the amount requested by a plaintiff (usually in writing) during negotiations to settle a lawsuit. 4) adj. referring to a note payable at any time a request to pay is made
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