I was recently in New Zealand and heard Aroha Mead speak on the legal
protection of Maori heritage. Her area of expertise is "indigenous
culture and intellectual property issues." Given that "Koha" is a
significant Maori word  with cultural meaning, it may be defendable
on that basis. I hope you are also bringing this to the attention of
folks in NZ who can make that argument.
Quoting Joann Ransom <[log in to unmask]>:
> 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, butit 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.
> Background reading:
> - Code4Lib article <http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/1638>: How hard
> can it be : developing in Open Source [history of the development of Koha]
> by Joann Ransom and Chris Cormack.
> - Timeline <http://koha-community.org/about/history/> of Koha
> - Koha history visualization <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl1a2VN_pec>
> Help us
> If you would like to help us fund legal costs please use the paypal donate
> button below.
> Otherwise, any discussion, public support and ideas on how to proceed would
> be gratefully received.
> Joann Ransom RLIANZA
> Head of Libraries,
> Horowhenua Library Trust.
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