Microsoft locked in battle with feisty new kid on the block

There is no question that Microsoft Windows, the name of the dominant personal computer operating system, is one of the leading brands in the world. Today, Windows is the face of computing for nearly 400 million people worldwide - the software that determines the look and basic operations of more than 90 per cent of PCs.

But success, money and monopoly, it seems, do not put even so familiar a name as Microsoft Windows beyond challenge. An upstart company,, is trying to persuade the United States District Court in Seattle to invalidate Microsoft's trademark on Windows. At issue is the level of legal protection that should, or should not, be accorded to an ordinary word that Microsoft adopted as its own: windows.

The litigation so far - a mounting pile of evidence and briefs - provides a detailed narrative of the origins and rise of a mega-brand, and a primer on trademark law.

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News source: NY Times

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