Microsoft’s Office Live moniker under threat

Following the news that it was ordered to pay $1.5 billion in patent infringement damages to Alcatel-Lucent, Microsoft has been hit with another legal whammy, this time regarding its Office Live offerings.

Microsoft's Office Live moniker under threat

Online media company Office Live has announced that it is suing Microsoft for federal trademark infringement of its moniker.

The company, which links consumers to professional advice and services via a portal and helps to provide virtual office services for businesses, is seeking both financial compensation and an injunction preventing the Redmond giant from using the name in future.

Office Live been using the name since 2001 and registered it as a trademark back in 2002.

Following unsuccessful settlement negotiations since an original suit was filed in December last year, the company has now reignited its legal action against Microsoft.

‘Microsoft seems to think that it can do whatever it wants just because we are a much smaller company,’ said Lenny Targon, Office Live’s chief executive.

‘It is shocking that Microsoft would have so little regard for another company’s intellectual property rights that it would select a name belonging to another company. Online software may be the next big thing, but Microsoft has no right to use our trademark without permission.’

Intellectual property attorney John Gorman from Gorman & Miller, which is representing Office Live, added: ‘There are dozens of names that Microsoft could have chosen to brand its online software products. It knew of the existence of this trademark and decided to use it anyway.’

Microsoft has hit back, vowing to contest the action and suggesting that the term is commonly used as a descriptor for products that take advantage of the web.

‘The word “Live” is commonly used to indicate a service or product enhanced for use with the internet. Many other companies use the word “Live” in this fashion. Like them, we are simply pairing the word “Live” with our longstanding house mark and other common terms to describe our service offering. The product’s full name – Microsoft Office Live – makes it clear that this is a Microsoft service for enabling your business to take advantage of the internet – a commonly used concept that is distinguished from other businesses by the presence of the name Microsoft,’ the company said in a statement.

The statement continued: ‘Now that the complaint has been served, we will vigorously defend our legal position. We also will seek to invalidate Office Live LLC’s claim to trademark the phrase ‘Office Live’ in its common connotation.’

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