GNOME Foundation forced to defend its trademark against Groupon

In today's open source roundup: Groupon has launched a tablet product that violates the GNOME Foundation's registered trademark. Plus: Reviews of OpenMandriva 2014.1. And the successes, failures and new challenges of Mozilla's Firefox browser

Groupon forces the GNOME Foundation to defend its trademark

The GNOME Foundation has launched a fundraising effort to defend its GNOME trademark in light of Groupon's launch of a tablet product with a similar name. This has caused shockwaves throughout the Linux community as angry users rally to GNOME's cause.

OMG Ubuntu reports that Groupon seemed to know exactly what it was doing when it launched its GNOME tablet product:

Could it just be that they’ve never heard of GNOME before? Highly unlikely.

Even the most Saul Goodman-y of lawyers would first check existing trademarks and investigate the company(s) owning or contesting. Even assuming that lapse in professionalism, most would have at least given the name a quick Google. Damningly, the company has previously claimed to be ‘fuelled by open-source’.

More at OMG Ubuntu

groupon violates gnome foundation trademark OMG Ubuntu

Softpedia notes that the GNOME Foundation did give Groupon notice that it was violating the GNOME trademark, but Groupon apparently did not care:

As you can imagine, the GNOME trademark has been in effect for many years, since 2006, but owning it is not enough, especially if your trademark is attacked by a huge company who really wants it. The GNOME Foundation is non-profit and it doesn't have the required funds to protect itself against big business interests that are willing to throw a lot of money on lawyers and trials.

The GNOME Foundation members saw that Groupon wanted to make a product called Gnome and did what any trademark holder does. They informed Groupon they had the trademark and that they needed to rename it. Instead of renaming it, Groupon, which is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, has filed for its own trademarks, and basically, started a legal war.

More at Softpedia

The GNOME Foundation has set up a page that explains the situation and offers a way for you to donate to help protect GNOME from Groupon's trademark violations:

Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon’s product is a tablet based point of sale “operating system for merchants to run their entire operation." The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name.

Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed can be found here, here and here). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.

More at

Angry Linux users on Reddit are rallying to the cause of GNOME:

"Made me totally disgusted, and makes me wonder why the hell anyone should care about getting a trademark if someone can just file one of their own and then fight you. $60 donated. I too hope that Google, Red Hat, and other large players can put a bit of their resources into this."

More at Reddit

OpenMandriva 2014.1 reviews

OpenMandriva 2014.1 has been out for a little while now, but there haven't been many reviews of this distribution. However, DistroWatch has just released a review of OpenMandriva 2014.1 and indicates that it might have great appeal for beginners. I've also included a video review below from YouTube so you can see OpenMandriva in action.

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