Name Change silliness

Sean Egan seanegan at
Wed Apr 25 17:51:34 EDT 2007

On 4/25/07, Stephen Samuel <samuel at> wrote:
> 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.


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

Our settlement says, explicitly, verbatim, "AOL does not object to
your use of Pidgin."

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

That would apply some sort of association with the GNU project, of
which there is none. Additionally, "GnIM" looks horrendous! ;)

> 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.

That's sweet.

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

generally, negotiations go better when you *don't* kick the opposing
side in the nuts, and run.


More information about the Devel mailing list