A name change may not be necessary.
For what it's worth, a long time ago in 2000 when I was getting my Avanti project off the ground, a group in Germany that I was unaware of developing an information retrieval database system called "Avanti" objected to the name I had chosen for my project because of the conflict. We eventually agreed to let me keep the Avanti name for my project with me placing a link to their work on my wesite explaining that these were different projects, which I did for some years. I no longer do so now, but there have been no objections, probably as I am pretty much on the fringes of anything right now.
I am still shocked though, that LibLime would do something like this and actually persue it as a legal matter. As one who has been involved in and observed open source software in libraries from Day One, I am shaking my head here.
>From: Mike Taylor <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Nov 22, 2011 3:41 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Plea for help from Horowhenua Library Trust to Koha Community
>This is horrible news, and you have my sympathy. It's very strange to
>think how recently we all thought of LibLime as being among the Good
>My position on this is that the name is probably not worth as much as
>it feels that it's worth. I can understand why as the originators you
>would have a strong emotional tie to it, but in the end a name-change
>may not hurt much at all (and might even help, judging by the
>frequency with which large organisations spend millions to change
>their names). Oracle owns the name OpenOffice, but no-one much cares
>and LibreOffice has replaced it in the world's affections.
>So your best bet may be to shrug and let them have the old name for
>their proprietary fork. Just come up with a new name for the open
>codebase, let the world know, and move on with doing more useful
>things -- spending what money you have on coders and cataloguers
>rather than lawyers.
>On 22 November 2011 00:51, Joann Ransom <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 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.