I've created some opensource, free to use Javascript tool. Currently, my program operates under a different name(which i want to change).

This tool is rather similar to an existing one, that was deprecated by the creators(Their site clearly states "DEPRECATED", and recommends some other tool, to be used instead).

Is it legal/safe to use the same name? Does contacting the company by email, asking for their written permission, have any legal validity?

I will note, that i'm not a US/Canada/EU citizen(assuming that matters).


Don't do it. Using an existing name most likely is a very bad idea unless you get the consent of the people who use(d) the name before; the name might be a registered trademark and you might get into legal trouble.

If it is not the same product, a different name is also a courtesy for the customers to allow distinction of the different products.

And even if you fork an existing yet abandoned open source programme (thus in a way continue an existing project), it is at least common courtesy to choose a different name if you have no consent from the original authors to continue the project. Additionally: the legal argument about registered name(s) from my first paragraph might also apply here.

Choosing a new name is very common: Libre Office vs. Open Office. Kallithea vs. Rhodecode. Jenkins vs. Hudson. Redmine vs. OpenProject. OwnCloud vs. NextCloud. There likely are many more.

  • So i better stick to my initial name :D
    – i.brod
    Apr 30 '20 at 13:33
  • 1
    @i.brod Or choose a name that makes it clear there is a difference. E.g. FreeDOS is not the same as MS-DOS, but the names are similar enough to make it obvious that one serves a similar purpose to the other.
    – Brandin
    May 1 '20 at 9:17

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