Microsoft may not own windows?

Bill Kearney
Thu, 21 Mar 2002 13:57:31 -0500

> bTW, there is a huge difference between the generic term 'windows' and the
> originally creative terms for coke/Disney.  Windows has ALWAYS been a
> generic term.  After all, the glass existed before the operating system.
> The same cannot be said for Coke (although perhaps a drug reference might
> suffice for generic here) OR for Disney.

Perhaps you're forgetting about iron ore processing:

> Generic terms _do_ fundamentally have less protection.  So, in answer to
> your question, yes.

How about "apple" then?  Or "dell"? Aren't those generic words too?  Would one
of those companies have any right to seek relief in the courts should someone
attempt to invade their market and try to dilute their trademark's value?

> Now if you approached that argument with 'Should the term 'Microsoft' have
> less protection than Coke or Disney", I would say no.

Right, while It's currently trendy to all pile onto Microsoft, it's hardly
grounds to toss aside the law and treat them unfairly in the courts on this
matter.   They've certainly got their share of legal mistakes but is there merit
to disregarding the law just to be mean about it?

Had these Lindows guys come along with a decent product and attempted to sell it
on it's own merits, using a non-infringing name, would anyone care?  No.
They're basically just trying to get visibility for their non-existant product
by stealing from another trademark's brand value in the market.  Would you want
someone doing that to your trademark's brand value?

-Bill Kearney