(Also, just to point out, lawyers cost money, and I wouldn't want to pick a fight with Google's lawyers if I didn't have to)
And you're right, Google legal is not easy to go up against. But maybe they haven't yet been consulted on this plan and would agree with a politely but firmly worded letter from him on the naming question specifically. The original public source of these Google plans is merely an issue in the Chromium bug tracker, not yet a fully vetted blog post or press release.
Though it would probably be prudent to try sending an email with "hey, do you mind changing your name to something else" first.
Then again, given the article and a bit of HN Buzz, that may already be happening.
Definitely worth you pointing out the rights that the author likely has in the comments though.
I'm not looking forward to people mistyping libcrurl as libcurl and people having to second guess what the intention was.
curl might not be a trademark but EU has 'moral right of the author' rules. In my mind libcrurl is right up there with a search engine named G00gle or a software company named MikeRowSoft.
"Crurl" is in "rural juror" territory.
Simple names in the era of the web are not always a good idea. Also see https://www.r-project.org/
See also - Rust
I think you're right. Presenting it as a moral matter may be a signal that he's not looking to pick the legal fight but take matters up in a more public social court, if you will.
Allowing someone to do something means there is estoppel (my explicit action to let you do X is considered in law to prohibit me later going after you for doing X even if you'd otherwise have no right to do it) but doesn't magically abolish my right to forbid others.
Claims require that you actively use the mark, if you last sold Rocqua brand hats in 1987, your claim against me for using that mark in 2019 won't work, but they don't require you go around suing or even threatening to sue anybody. That's just lawyers getting themselves a few extra bucks off the unenlightened, mixed with people who want an excuse for behaving badly.
Not only is there a risk of estoppel (probably not if they can't show anything explicit or intentional by you), even other competitors can point to your willful inaction in support of their argument to a judge that your trademark has become generic.
As noted above, I'm not a lawyer or giving specific legal advice here, but I have worked with lawyers in dealing with trademarks.