At the article's time of publication, Carruthers said the original trademark owner, Rosie Cross, had told her to stop using "geekgirl". This turned out to be incorrect, with Carruthers retracting that statement. It was Cross' partner, Carruthers said, that had instead contacted her.
Carruthers has posted screenshots of what she said were tweets from January showing Cross' partner contacting her to let her know about the trademark being owned by Cross.
Carruthers also posted a screenshot and link to a public Google Wave. It shows user "geekgirl" posting: "Could you please consider renaming the wave to Nerd Gurls or something. As the owner of the trademark and originator of the term Geek Girl, which I coined some 20 years ago, it may cause confusion. I would really appreciate your consideration".
When Carruthers found out that Cross owned the trademark "geekgirl" she attempted to register it herself, but under a different clause. "I believe strongly that [geekgirl] is a word in common usage and that anyone desiring to use it thus should be free to do so without fear of bullying," Carruthers said in the original article. Carruthers admitted in her post that she may have gone about doing things the wrong way.
Cross' blog post commented, amongst other things, on Carruthers' retraction of her original statement that she'd been directly contacted by Cross.
"What catalysed the hate-storm was Kate's assertion, expressed in direct quotes to ZDNet, that I had told her directly not to use the Twitter hashtag #geekgirl," Cross wrote. "WTF? She has since retracted this statement and admitted it is not true". Cross did say, however, that she wanted "a fair and reasonable control of [intellectual property]".
After publication of the original article, Cross tweeted that she had "been working on a Creative Commons licence for #geekgirl". Maybe this will resolve things? Here's hoping.