Microsoft may not own windows?

Owen Byrne
Thu, 21 Mar 2002 15:06:29 -0400

Trademark 101:
"Arbitrary or fanciful marks are better. Terms with no connection to related
goods or services also make strong marks. Consider, for example, Hamburger
brand automobiles. (Still, a firm using that mark could not prevent use of
"hamburger" for sandwiches.) "


Bill says:

> > bTW, there is a huge difference between the generic term 'windows' and
> > 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
> > 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
> of those companies have any right to seek relief in the courts should
> attempt to invade their market and try to dilute their trademark's value?
> > Now if you approached that argument with 'Should the term 'Microsoft'
> > 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
> matter.   They've certainly got their share of legal mistakes but is there
> 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
> by stealing from another trademark's brand value in the market.  Would you
> someone doing that to your trademark's brand value?
> -Bill Kearney