Groupon drops 'Gnome' trademark claims after Gnome Foundation braces for battle

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Groupon has dropped trademark applications that sought to use the “Gnome” name for a point-of-sale tablet it released in May, clashing with the open-source software group of the same name.

The nonprofit Gnome Foundation, which is behind the Gnome desktop for GNU/Linux and BSD, has held a registered trademark for the name since 2006. Gnome is the default desktop for a range of Linux distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Fedora and Debian.

Groupon will drop its 28 pending trademark applications, and “the parties are working together on a mutually acceptable solution, a process that has already begun,” according to a joint statement published on the Gnome Foundation’s blog.

The foundation said it had taken “a tremendous amount of time and effort to deal with this issue.”

Despite ongoing conversations between the two parties, the foundation had steeled itself for a fight, raising more than a quarter of the $80,000 it estimated it needed to cover the initial legal fees to challenge Groupon. It had planned to file formal proceedings to oppose 10 of Groupon’s applications by Dec. 3.

The two parties had been in conversations for months trying to reach a resolution. In May, Groupon issued a press release using the Gnome name for its point-of-sale tablet, designed to allow retailers to more easily accommodate its group discount deals.

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