When is a Web site like windowshome.info not a Microsoft Web site?
When it's a site operated by three people, including two Utahns, designed to trick people into thinking it's a Microsoft site. So says Washington-based Microsoft Corp. in a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.
The suit says that Jason Cox of Albuquerque, Daniel Goggins of Provo and John Jonas of Springville, as individuals and also doing business as Jonas and Goggins Studios LLC and Newtonarch LLC, infringed Microsoft's trade and service marks by registering Internet domain names identical to or confusingly similar to Microsoft's trademarks and service marks.
The suit lists 324 such domain names that Microsoft charges infringe on its Age of Empires, Halo, Hotmail, Microsoft, MSN, Windows, Windows XP, Xbox and Xbox Live marks. The list includes 1microsoft67.info, 1halo2home.info, 1microsoftexcel37.info, 1msn59.info, 1windowsxp36.info, 1xbox52.info, ageofempiressite.info, halo2player.com, halo2online.info and windowshome.info.
"When a person looking for a Microsoft Web site lands on one of the defendants' Web sites, that person may click on one of the advertisements or hyperlinks on the site either because the person finds it easier to click on the advertisement or hyperlink than to continue searching for the Microsoft site, or because the person mistakenly believes Microsoft has authorized or endorsed the advertisements or hyperlinks," the suit states. "In either case, the person has been diverted from the Microsoft Web site he or she was seeking to visit, and Microsoft has lost that opportunity to interact with that person."