The WordPress Foundation is an entity setup by Matt Mullenweg to help the WordPress open source project, and part of this includes protection of trademarks for WordPress, WordCamp, and others related. Part of registering a trademark requires active protection, and after repeated warnings, the foundation is now suing TheWordPressHelpers.com. Domain Name Wire have published an initial post, which also includes links to the lawsuit information.
It’s interesting to watch. The WordPress Foundation may have reached out first, but it seems TheWordPressHelpers fired back in an official capacity, and the lawsuit is an escalation of that. Trademarks are tricky things, and it can be hard to tell at first glance what all the relevant details might be. Regardless of whether or not TheWordPressHelpers have a legitimate case, I feel it’s disingenuous toward WordPress open source project for them to pursue this.
Chris Lema also posted some thoughts on this, which I feel respresent the general sentiment about this situation. Specifically:
Few things are as crazy as blatantly walking into a fight knowing that you’re doing it, when you don’t have the money or forces to win the battle.
Yet that is what Jeff has done. All while promising to revolutionize everything about WordPress.
So here’s my question. Would his effort been better spent on the revolution if he would have just named his site wphelpers.com instead?
Note: I am not a lawyer.