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So, in your opinion, if I built a software application that let you design and order plate glass in decorative form to be placed in the walls of your house and named this app "Windows" would Microsoft's inevitable attempts at protecting their trademark be overreaching? The windows I named my app for are physical things and Microsoft's are virtual, but I'm releasing a software product called "Windows."

Both kik names exist in the realm of software. There's an argument to be made for confusion.




Yes, even this faintly ridiculous fake example of painstaking mental construction would be overreach. No one would ever download your hypothetical architectural software expecting to get an operating system.

As a public service, some toilet or compost bin manufacturer ought to start "violating" trademarks by naming toilets etc. after litigious companies. We'd all get a kik out of hearing them argue that database consumers are likely to confuse the Oracle database with the Oracle water closet. [EDIT: "Sure it's a CRUD app, but I'm more interested in Deletion than Retrieval!"]

Of course there are arguments to be made; lawyers are involved.


People with experience in software wouldn't likely confuse the two pieces of software. But most people think "computers" and stop there. Most people visiting an app store would see "Windows" for 99 cents, buy it, then complain when it wasn't Microsoft Windows. They wouldn't read descriptions, and they don't know what an operating system is.

Confusion. Microsoft is very likely to prevail in the infringement lawsuit.


Those products would not conflict there isn't a giant category called computers and further you can't just take a generic word out of the English language and take possession. Apple is a generic word for example but not in computer technology.

This matter has even already been litigated. Microsoft Windows is a valid trademark, Windows is not defensible.

Please see lindows aka linspire.


That case was settled and a decision from a court was never reached. That is pretty far from claiming a Windows trademark is indefensible.


Microsoft's claims were rejected by the court, which asserted that Microsoft had used the term windows to describe graphical user interfaces before the Windows product was ever released, and that the windowing technique had already been implemented by Xerox and Apple Computer many years before. Microsoft sought a retrial and after this was postponed in February 2004, offered to settle the case. As part of the licensing settlement, Microsoft paid an estimated $20 million, and Lindows, Inc. transferred the Lindows trademark to Microsoft and changed its name to Linspire, Inc. [0]

Oh yeah, it seems like M$ were on the verge of winning that appeal, and only discontinued (and paid Lindows a multiple of its annual profit) out of pity.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linspire


Funny that you picked that example windows is actually not a valid trademark at all. This has been tested in court.


Can you provide a link to a case? The only one I recall is about Lindows and that case settled out of court.




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