This matter is resolved! Thank you for all the support that you have given us! The response to this campaign was overwhelming, with 5622 individuals contributing USD 102,608.76 to help the GNOME Foundation defend its trademark. As a result of the campaign, Groupon decided to abandon all of their 28 pending trademark applications and will proceed with a name change for their product. We could not have done this without your help!
GNOME is humbled by the support we have received from the community and we are excited that the money raised can now be spent on making GNOME better. We look forward to reporting back to you on all the great things this will enable us to do!
If you would like to support GNOME further, you can become a Friend of GNOME!
Below is the text of the original fundraising plea and the supporting quotes. It was also accompanied by the donation button and the buttons to spread the message on social media.
"GNOME" has been a familiar name in software for the past 17 years, and a registered trademark since 2006. The GNOME project has been a staple desktop for GNU/Linux and BSD desktops. It was the default desktop for Sun Microsystems workstation class machines, continues to be the default desktop for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server distributions, and it is the default desktop of Fedora and Debian. SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service solution for the retail industry is based on GNOME. GNOME technology can be found in TVs, tablets, phones, consumer devices, and in common software everywhere.
Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon’s product is a tablet based point of sale “operating system for merchants to run their entire operation." The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name. Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed can be found here, here and here). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.
We want to show that our brand matters and that you care. Of the 28 trademark applications Groupon filed, we have to file formal proceedings to oppose 10 of them by December 3, 2014. Help us raise the funds to fight back and most of all call public attention to this terrible behavior by Groupon. Help us make sure that when people hear about GNOME software they learn about freedom and not proprietary software. Our counsel has advised us that we will need $80,000 to oppose the registration of the first set of 10 applications. If we are able to defend the mark without spending this amount, we will use the remaining funds to bolster and improve GNOME. Please help us raise the money to protect GNOME's trademark and strengthen Free Software!
This legal defense is not just about protecting GNOME's trademark; it is about asserting to the corporate world that FLOSS trademarks can and will be guarded. Not just by the project in question, but by the community as a whole. As a result, all FLOSS trademarks will be strengthened at once.
-- Lucas Nussbaum, Debian Project Leader
GNOME has been an integral part of the free and open source universe for over a decade and half, and is a vital component of Fedora's desktop operating system. I'm shocked and saddened that a company which describes itself as "fueled by open source software" would even consider muddying the waters by launching proprietary software with the same name. That's confusing, destructive, and disrespectful. Please join me in asking Groupon to change their plans, and in contributing to the GNOME Foundation's defense.
-- Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader
GNOME has been one of the hallmarks and foundation for the open source community for over 15 years. We are outraged that Groupon would attempt to insinuate that its proprietary software and products have anything to do with the GNOME community and years of trust and good will that GNOME has built over the years. We stand by GNOME in protecting its trademark and encourage everyone in the open source and free software community to do the same.
-- Andrew Lee, Private Internet Access co-founder and Chief Creative Officer