Red Hat, researchers in name tiff

A team of university researchers says it will oppose Red Hat's attempt to trademark "Fedora," the company's moniker for its new hobbyist Linux line, based on their prior use of the name.

Computer scientists at Cornell University began working in 1997 on a project to build a software tool, mainly for the benefit of librarians, that would blend content from various internal and external sources and present them in a unified form, said Carl Lagoze, a senior researcher in Cornell's information sciences department. The project was named Fedora, an acronym for "flexible extensible digital object repository architecture."

Cornell began using the name in 1997, Lagoze said, and while it was never trademarked, it has become widely known in the software community. "We're a research project; we never had any active interest in grabbing the name," he said.

Researchers were nevertheless concerned when Red Hat signaled its intention earlier this year to use the Fedora name for the new hobbyist and consumer version of the Linux operating system it introduced this month.

"We didn't say to them, 'You can't use the name,'" Lagoze said. "We had no right to do that. But we certainly didn't encourage it."

News source: CNET News - Red Hat, researchers in name tiff

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