[Koha] Koha trademarks

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Wed May 20 22:01:03 NZST 2009

Rachel Hamilton-Williams <rachel at katipo.co.nz> wrote:
> A trademark does need to belong to a legal entity, and we haven't had a 
> Koha legal entity for trademarks to belong to that isn't either a vendor 
> or a client (essentially). There is some cost to trademarking (not 
> huge), but the organisations that have felt able to pay that cost, and 
> have felt they have the most to loose if a hostile organisation were to 
> trademark koha instead of a Koha project member,  have been vendors. 
> There's nothing particularly "sinister" in that.

No, the sinister bit was that some trademarks were registered and left
for the community to notice.  Thanks to the lack of coordination, I
believe that at least one registration conflicts with a pre-existing

> And I believe in good faith, the companies involved have said they'll be 
> prepared to hand over those trademarks to another Koha legal entity 
> (like a foundation) once it's in place and able to accept/hold them.

Yes, those are good words and I hope we'll see action soon.

> The alternative is to NOT register the trademarks, which is the case in 
> some jurisdictions, where in the view of the "locals"  there is little 
> threat of malicious trademark registration. [...]

Also, a few jurisdictions do not require registration of marks.

> > Rather, I think we should start taking formal votes with reasonable 
> > announced time frames. Hopefully this will come to pass with feedback 
> > being opened on bugzilla or projects like the one that's currently up 
> > to allow for voting for Koha con. 
> I'm not sure what right now we'd be formally voting on WRT a foundation 
> or other entity. I guess we could get proposals from the various 
> "proposers" and vote on which model we favour for further investigation?

OK, I propose we apply to become an associated project of SPI with the
following details:-

1. the name of the project is Koha and it is a Free Software LMS;

2. we need asset stewardship and donation management at first;

3. the Kaitiaki (Rachel Hamilton-Williams) is our liaison to SPI and
at first, we will select future liaisons by personal and proxy votes
of contributors and users listed on koha.org sites at IRC General
Meetings.  If an international Koha foundation is created, this
selection decision may be delegated to it in the same way.

> > I'm also not sure why the trademarks are in corporate hands when we 
> > have established users groups that are certainly more objective.
> I don't think that the user groups are legal entities are they? The 
> registration of trademarks I think possibly predated the user groups as 
> well.

KohaLA ASBL in France is a legal entity that could own them AFAICT and
isn't a vendor or a client.  It predates at least the most recent

Or we could ask any of the holding foundations to take care of them
until another Koha Foundation is up.  There seems no need for private
individuals or corporations to own them.

MJ Ray (slef).  LMS developer and supporter for a small, friendly
worker cooperative http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ http://mjr.towers.org.uk/
(Notice http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html) tel:+44-844-4437-237

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