vs Magnolia CMS

September 29 , 2009

Once upon a time

I got an informed that got a cease and desist order from Magnolia CMS. These are two separate companies, yes both in the tech world but different goals and products.

Big time lawyers are sending letters. Disappointing yes. Both are community based products. Ma.gnolia has the twitter handle @magnolia. Magnolia CMS has @magnolia_cms. Is it over this? Who knows? Is it because they’ve expanded their product to the USA?

Magnolia CMS is an open source product. We all need one another and I find it disappointing that they are sending big time lawyers to shut down Larry Halff’s project. Has it come down to this? :( 

In my attempt to help I’ve written a comment to the Magnolia CMS website.

Want to help? Write them

If you want to help here’s contact Magnolia CMS website and fill out the form.

Here’s my letter to Magnolia’s CMS website:
I think it is disappointing that a company that is “open source” and depends on a community for support sending a cease and desist order to a social bookmarking website that is for the community.
There are other start ups that co-exist without harming one another’s business.
Please rethink your stand on this.
Thank you.

Let’s get behind the social bookmarking website we’ve come to love. :)


Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 08.50 pm


I sent a *very* similar message to the company after I heard the news.

Let’s hope that this company rethinks this move.


Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 12.25 am

Chris Harrison launch in Feb 2006. According to the Magnolia CMS site, they launched around 2003. If they were fearful of ma.gnolia (the bookmarking service) from infringing on their mark, why wasn’t it pursued earlier? The site recently relaunched in a very limited capacity and now they pursue action? That seems rather odd… and doesn’t make me feel good at all about Magnolia CMS (which I had never heard of before this).

This reeks of douchiness.


Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 01.05 pm

Jason Beaird

I guess I’ve been under a rock because the bigger news to me here is that Ma.gnolia still exists. The fact that they’re poised to make a comeback is exciting, but I’m sure a lot of people won’t be as enthused considering the meltdown that occurred in January. While I hate cease and desist orders (cough:p4p) I believe it’d be better at this point for Ma.gnolia to come up with an entirely new brand. That’s a lot of work, but they’d be better off relaunching as “new product” than one with a tarnished reputation.


Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 07.10 pm


we are in touch with the Larry and I believe that things will work out fine. We are not against his service, and certainly have nothing against himself, so in all fairness I encourage all ma.gnolia fans to stick to the facts.

BTW, Magnolia, the CMS, has first been released on Nov. 15 2003, which was significantly before ma.gnolia launched.

I am positive that a new name for Larry’s service will be to everybody’s benefit.

CTO, Magnolia International


Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 11.23 pm



I understand your are attempting to protect your own company’s branding. I do not believe you have any personal dislike toward Larry.

But I find it hard to believe that if the roles were reversed you would not say it was to your benefit to choose a new name for your company.

Is it possible to come to an agreement that both of your companies are allowed to use the name without considerable legal battles?

I’m curious though..
Is it because of page ranking? Is this a publicity stunt? I’m just curious as to why you would want to crush ma.gnolia a social bookmarking site that is all user generated and community based.


Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 11.23 pm

Chris Harrison

Boris - Why wasn’t action pursued before now with Ma.gnolia? One might argue they were more well known prior to their collapse. It really seems like you guys are just trying to capitalize on them coming back online.

I think we all realize you guys were first (primarily because your website says so), but you’re a CMS and Ma.Gnolia is a bookmark service. Not exactly the same thing. And correct me if I’m wrong, but your domain and Twitter handle implies you prefer to refer to yourselves as Magnolia CMS.

Also, do you intend to pursue action on Exxon Mobil which owns


Thu Oct 1, 2009 at 11.33 pm

Derek Featherstone

I am positive that a new name for Larry’s service will be to everybody’s benefit.

I’m not quite sure how it will be to anyone’s benefit but yours, Boris.

Just my opinion.


Fri Oct 2, 2009 at 01.08 am

Todd Sieling

Sorry, Boris, but a demand for Ma.gnolia to change its name within 5 days of receiving your hand-drawn ‘cease and desist’ is utterly unreasonable, and one must wonder why you chose to start the conversation in such a way, knowing the impossibility of compliance.

You’ve chosen to follow the path of using the law as a stick to beat away what you don’t like. It’s actions like this that one looks back to across the years with sadness, knowing that we create the world we live in with our actions. Yours lead to nothing better for anyone but yourself.


Fri Oct 2, 2009 at 07.33 am


@Derek: read Jasons comment. I don’t know Jason, but I full-heartedly agree with him.

@Chris: I am not sure what you mean by capitalizing on them coming back online. Right now is the moment it hurts him least. Would you be able to acknowledge that?

Also, the twitter handle has nothing to do with our trademark.

Regarding Exxon: Exxon’s business is not web-based. Our’s as well as Larry’s is. Also, they aren’t referred to as “magnolia”. Larry’s service unfortunately is. From my business’ perspective, having people in the IT space talk about Magnolia and not meaning us is not an option.

@Cindy - We don’t want to crush ma.gnolia. All we ask is that he changes the name of his service.


Mon Oct 5, 2009 at 09.15 am


I too regret its come to this , it seems to happen more and more to startups. Capitalism is a b*tch ...


Mon Oct 5, 2009 at 08.34 pm

Larry Halff

Just wanted to thank everyone here for their comments, ideas, and feedback on this issue.

I have renamed the site now to just Gnolia, and have no hard feelings. Instead, I am looking forward to getting back to work on the good stuff.


Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 08.35 pm

Jeff C

@Boris, Wow.  Well, that’ll never fly in court (lol).  Just because both companies use the web to do service doesn’t mean they infringe on each other’s name.  That’s like saying you’re going to sue Exxon for having the website, because guess what… it’s on the web (oh my), and yes: Exxon does own web-based businesses as well (they don’t just put all their eggs in one basket).

Maybe Lego should sue you for using their product design to brand your product on your homepage (uh oh).  See how sad that is?  NOBODY CARES BUT WEASELS LIKE YOU.

Boris, I hope you waste a lot of time and money in your endeavor to cause harm to smaller companies.  And after you lose I hope Larry counter-sues for irreparable damages.  The fun and joy it will bring us.

p.s. If you haven’t noticed, you’re not making many friends now.  Good luck with that one.


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