Koha Trademark Dispute

An open source project in New Zealand is involved in a trademark dispute. 

If you want to see an example of the kind of reporting about open source legal matter that drives lawyers like me to distraction, take a look at this article.  It describes the dispute as just about everything except what it is — a trademark interference.  “A small New Zealand library is fighting to keep its trademark free software from the clutches of a United States corporation.”  It’s actually a dispute about the trademark, not the software copyright.  “[A]n American company named LibLime has hijacked the system and wants to use it for its own private client base.”  Hijacked?  If it’s open source, it’s free to use and modify, though there may be a separate trademark issue.  Also the URL for the article calls it “Small-library-fights-US-corporation-over-software-patent” and there are no patents in sight.

But apparently the publicity worked, as the project, according to its own blog post linked above, got many donations to a legal fund, and also pro bono representation.  A deal is reportedly being brokered to assign the trademark to a non-profit representing the Koha community.