Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Plea for help from Horowhenua Library Trust

Horowhenua Library Trust is the birth place of Koha and the longest serving member of the Koha community. Back in 1999 when we were working on Koha, the idea that 12 years later we would be having to write an email like this never crossed our minds. It is with tremendous sadness that we must write this plea for help to you, the other members of the Koha community.

The situation we find ourselves in, is that after over a year of battling against it, PTFS/Liblime have managed to have their application for a Trademark on Koha in New Zealand accepted. We now have 3 months to object, but to do so involves lawyers and money. 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.

For the library that invented Koha to now have to have a legal battle to prevent a US company trademarking the word in NZ seems bizarre, but it is at this point that we find ourselves.

So, we ask you, the users and developers of Koha, from the birth place of Koha, please if you can help in anyway, let us know.

jransom at library.org.nz

Background reading:
  • Code4Lib article: How hard can it be : developing in Open Source [history of the development of Koha] by Joann Ransom and Chris Cormack.
  • Timeline of Koha :development
  • Koha history visualization

Help us
If you would to donate towards the cost of mounting a legal challenge creditcards can be used on paypal below:

Cheques made out to Te Horowhenua Trust can be posted to Levin Library, 10 Bath Street, Levin, 5510. Bank deposits can be made to Te Horowhenua Trust, Westpac Levin, 030667 0299274 00 ref: Trademark.

Otherwise, any discussion, public support and ideas on how to proceed would be gratefully received.


Gerrit said...

Can you link to more background on this issue? It's hard for me to follow what's going on.

Have you been in touch with the US-based registrant of the trademark? Are they willing to allow you to use the word in a limited capacity?

Gerrit said...

Can you include background information? It's hard for me as a first-time reader to understand what's going on here.

Is the U.S.-based company open to consenting to your (limited) use of the phrase?

Have you already spoken with a local lawyer, or are you just contacting one now?

Time is of the essence!