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Amazon drops Elasticsearch name from cloud portfolio after trademark infringement suit concludes

Enterprise open search company Elastic has succeeded in getting Amazon to stop using the name Elasticsearch to describe its distributed search and analytics product

Amazon is renaming its distributed search and analytics offering Elasticsearch following the resolution of a trademark infringement lawsuit brought against the tech giant by open source search firm Elastic in 2019.

Elastic has a product within its portfolio called Elasticsearch, the users of which include Goldman Sachs, eBay, NASA, and The New York Times, and the firm launched its lawsuit to stop Amazon using the name due to concerns it was creating confusion in the marketplace.

“Amazon markets two offerings that infringe the Elasticsearch mark: Amazon Elasticsearch Service (AESS) and Open Distro for Elasticsearch. Amazon’s branding for AESS and Open Distro infringes Elastic’s Elasticsearch mark,” said the lawsuit.

“Due to Amazon’s misleading use of the Elasticsearch mark, consumers of search and analytics software are, at least, likely to be confused as to whether Elastic sponsors or approves of AESS and Open Distro.”

While the lawsuit played out, Elastic also took steps to distance its own Elasticsearch offering from Amazon’s by tweaking the licensing terms for its product, which it detailed the reasons for in a blog post in January 2021.

“Our license change is aimed at preventing companies from taking our Elasticsearch… products and providing them directly as a service without collaborating with us,” the blog post stated.

“Our license change comes after years of what we believe to be Amazon/AWS misleading and confusing the community – enough is enough.

“We’ve tried every avenue available, including going through the courts, but with AWS’s ongoing behaviour, we have decided to change our license so that we can focus on building products and innovating rather than litigating,” the post added.

Elastic has now confirmed in a statement that it has resolved the dispute with Amazon, and – as a result – put a stop to the firm using Elasticsearch as a product name for its own search and analytics product.

“Following this resolution, Amazon has begun removing the term Elasticsearch from various pages on its website, as well as from its service names and related project names,” the statement confirmed.

Amazon will still be able to continue offering the underlying product, but it will now be marketed to customers as the Amazon OpenSearch Service.

Computer Weekly contacted Amazon for a comment on this story, and for further details of the settlement, but the company declined to provide an on the record response.

Shay Banon, founder and chief technology officer of Elastic, said: “We view this [resolution] as a significant step in removing the confusion in the marketplace because there is only one Elasticsearch, and it’s only from Elastic.”

Ashutosh Kulkarni, CEO of Elastic, said the company is now focusing on finding ways to collaborate with Amazon so that its shared customer base can feel the benefit.

“We are seeing strong momentum in our partnership – from seamless data ingestion workflows and a streamlined subscription experience in the AWS Marketplace, to joint go-to-market and enablement programs,” Kulkarni added.

“We are excited about the future and look forward to continuing to partner with AWS to help customers solve their most complex challenges around security, observability, and enterprise search.”

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