GNOME Stakeholders Take Issue With Groupon Over their Gnome
Earlier this year the Groupon discount web-site introduced Gnome, a tablet software solution for helping business owners run their business. This software is completely unrelated to the open-source GNOME desktop environment on Linux systems. The Groupon Gnome announcement reads, "Today we announced Gnome, a new tablet-based platform that will provide sophisticated tools to local merchants to run their businesses more effectively and understand their customers better. The tablet will let merchants instantly recognize their Groupon customers as they enter their business, seamlessly redeem Groupons and save time and money with a simple point of-sale system and credit card payment processing service. Gnome will soon integrate with popular accounting software programs such as QuickBooks and Xero and offer a suite of customer relationship management tools, including the ability to customize marketing campaigns based on purchase history, share customer feedback via social media and respond to customer inquiries or comments."
A Groupon blog post also mentions, "Gnome is an iPad tablet, installed with Gnome software, which will enable seamless Groupon redemption for Merchants." The mention of "installed with Gnome software" is also frustrating to GNOME fans given that there's no relation -- Groupon's application is only Apple iOS based, doesn't even use the GTK tool-kit, and is no way affiliated with the GNOME Foundation. Groupon to date, however, hasn't renamed their product even though GNOME is widely known amongst Linux/open-source fans and surely more than a few developers at Groupon.
In going through US Patent & Trademark Office records, "GNOME BY GROUPON" is listed as a service mark for the company, there's actually several records to Groupon's Gnome as a new registered mark. This should be rather clear collision, but alas, we all know the USPTO at times is royally off course.
Fortunately, Groupon's Gnome doesn't seem to be too popular and only this evening I was informed about it by a concerned GNOME stakeholder. Hopefully the GNOME Foundation and others will be able to extrude their forces in clearing up this odd and unfortunate situation.