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Evolve OS name change forced by trade mark dispute with UK government

The Evolve OS desktop Linux distribution is being forced into a change of name due to potential trade mark problems with the UK government, Softpedia reports.

Evolve OS screenshot

The bone of contention is not the Evolve element, but OS, which is apparently a trade mark registered to registered to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whose trade mark agents are a company called Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP.

In its headline, Softpedia describes this trademark registration as “stupid“.

Writing yesterday on Google+, the developers stated:

This is not an April Fools post

We will be required to change the name of the Evolve OS project, to avoid unnecessary legal action. All I will say right now is that the dispute is UK specific, and I have been informed that the relevant trademarks are held by the Secretary of State.

The letter goes beyond asking for a withdrawal of trademark application and asks we stop using the “mark”.

Clearly this is going to be an expensive and painful road in either direction, so we shall go with a rename.

The developers have also asked for the help of the free and open source community to come up with a new name that would be free of trademark infringements.


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