Name Change silliness

Stephen Samuel samuel at
Wed Apr 25 17:47:05 EDT 2007

Let me make sure I have this straight:

GAIM originally had a name that used 'AOL Instant Messenger", and that
annoyed AOL.

So after talking to AOL, the group changed their name to GAIM.

Then -- some years AFTER the GAIM name was chosen at the request (and
with the (at least implicit) *blessing*)  of AOL, AOL changed the name
of their Instant Message client to something very close to the
(already existing) GAIM, and then complained that the name which
*they* were mimicing infringed on their new trademark.

So the group was forced to roll over a second time.

Now, what happens if AOL decides to rename their client "Pidgeon"?

(Personally, I would have preferred renaming GAIM to GnIM  (Gnu
Instant Messanger).)

>From a "kick them in the nuts and run" attitude, I would have
publicized this history and threatened to castrate their trademark if
they insisted on threatening GAIM developers.

What was the lawyers' rationalle for keeping the negotiations secret?

Stephen Samuel

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