GNOME Foundation Seeks Support to Fight Groupon Trademark Attempt
While XDA normally focuses on mobile technology and development, on this occasion we bring you news from the wider Linux and free-software community. The GNOME project (which has existed for around 17 years or thereabouts) is a long term project, providing an open source Desktop Environment for Linux and Unix-like operating systems for some time. It’s all open source, and it’s all free to use and share. Despite being a major open source project, the GNOME Foundation are concerned by recent trademark filings by Groupon (a $2.5 billion company), aiming to use the name “GNOME” for their own point-of-sale tablet-based operating system.
The GNOME Foundation is obviously unhappy (since their foundation already holds the name GNOME, for use in operating systems). But thanks to how these kinds of legal processes work, GNOME will most likely will need to file suit against Groupon’s attempts to trademark the term. Where common sense really should prevail, unfortunately it seems GNOME will need to lawyer up, and prepare to defend its trademark through legal processes. These kinds of processes don’t come cheap.
To this effect, the GNOME Foundation has begun a campaign to raise awareness over Groupon’s attempts to take over their name, and have begun a fundraising effort to fund the (possible) legal battle. Groupon even refused to change their name, when requested, and indeed went and filed even more Trademark attempts. They’re asking for ideological and monetary support, to fight these moves by Groupon.
I’d urge you to take a look at their campaign page and spread the word–there’s no reason that GNOME should have to defend its own trademark in this manner, but as a community we should stand firm, and support them, to show that free software trademarks are of significance, and that large companies cannot simply take them over. Let’s send a message out to Groupon, and any other companies with aspirations of stealing trademarks from free software companies, that it’s not OK!