Kiwi library in trademark fight with US corporation

More
10 years 7 months ago #29660 by 3scoremiles10
A small New Zealand library is fighting to keep its trademark free software from the clutches of a United States corporation.
The Horowhenua Library trust designed the Koha system 12 years ago to manage catalogues and lending information.
It was the first free open source software of its kind and has been sponsored by libraries and volunteers around the world.
However, the trust says an American company named LibLime has hijacked the system and wants to use it for its own private client base.
The company has also been granted provisional rights to the name Koha by the Ministry of Economic Development.
"We did something really good and we gave it away to the world and it's been a glorious thing globally for 12 years," the trust's head of libraries, Joann Ransom, told Radio New Zealand.
"And now this American corporate wants to take it."
Ransom said she was astounded an international company could trademark a Maori word.
In an email message and posting on the Koha website koha-community.org/ the trust wrote it had spent the past year fighting against the trademark application.
It now had three months to object to the decision, but it would be a struggle.
"We are a small semi rural Library in New Zealand and have no cash spare in our operational budget to afford this, but we do feel it is something we must fight," the message said.
"So, we ask you, the users and developers of Koha, from the birthplace of Koha, please if you can help in any way, let us know."
A fund had been set up to collect donations for the legal challenge.

Source:

www.stuff.co.nz/national/6016492/Kiwi-li...-with-US-corporation

koha-community.org/

***

This is ridiculous. How can an American company trademark the word Koha? I defy them to know what it means [:(!]

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 7 months ago #402009 by reggit
I also don't understand how someone else can grab what this library have developed to market as their own....?????

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 7 months ago #402012 by Sue
Yes! That is our library and I know the people who developed the system and were so thrilled when it won all sorts of accolades. Evidently some anonymous benefactor have given them a sum of money towards legal fees to fight it, as being a charitable trust they are not flush with money for such unforseen events.
It is not so much the name as the system they are trying to copy.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 7 months ago #402035 by KiplingAngel
This is something that needs to go to the Media

See which politicians can or will do anything about it

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 7 months ago #402080 by kiwi_jon

tigger;397423 wrote: I also don't understand how someone else can grab what this library have developed to market as their own....?????

It's not as simple as that. Koha was developed under the open source GPL (GNU Public Licence) which means the software and source code are free and able to be developed into other 'forks' as long the original GPL licence remains intact while the fork contains any original source code.

The US company mentioned in the article, LibLime has developed it's own version of Koha, still based on the Koha source code but with it's own developments. Its version of Koha is still free under the GPL licence. Where LibLime makes its money is by selling support services for Koha.

The issue is with the Ministry of Economic Development allowing the name Koha to be trademarked by LibLime in NZ.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
10 years 7 months ago #402186 by Stikkibeek
They did it to Australian Ug boots and that led to a long long fight, and how about the Japanese trademarking Kiwi, so that we had to change the name of kiwifruit. Happens all the time and any one who invents something worthwhile and then fails to stitch up the trademarks is asking to lose it.
They will claim that Koha is an ordinary word rather than a generic name and so it goes.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.195 seconds