Microsoft may not own windows?

Bill Kearney
Thu, 21 Mar 2002 12:32:31 -0500

> From: "Gordon Mohr" <>
> I wouldn't give them that much credit. Trying to acquire trademark interest
> in such a generic term, by massive spending which included the buying-off of
> organized opposition, was a big gamble by Microsoft.
> From page 27 of the judge's decision: "Although certainly made a
> conscious decision to play with fire by choosing a product and a company name
> that differs by only one letter from the world's leading computer software
> program, one could just as easily conclude that in 1983 Microsoft made an
> equally risky decision to name its product after a term commonly used in the
> trade..."

Isn't there something about 'causing confusion in the marketplace'?  This
certainly attempts to do that.  It clearly attempts to leverage interest based
on the similarity of naming.  That leverage is intended to gain marketshare by
confusing the consumers looking to Windows.

Now, argue what you will about Linux being a better alternative to Windows, but
that's not the case here.  The case could be just as easily argued if someone
wanted to start using "Crapple" for a new model of computer.  Wouldn't that
raise the concern from Apple about diluting their trademark's equity in the

This stinks of the old "Bill stole it from Steve while Steve was stealing it
from Xerox argument".

Sure, Windows could be considered a generic term and if someone outside of the
operating system industry wanted to use the term Lindows it might have merit.
But to blatantly attempt to steal the brand equity of another company's
trademark has got to be considered illegal.

-Bill Kearney