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Woman settles 'Windows' brand dispute with mighty Microsoft over a reading tool

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Like many other companies, Microsoft is no stranger to disputes over product brands and names. Those that have been reading Neowin or have been following the Microsoft news over the years probably remember the SkyDrive to OneDrive saga, or the PureView news, among others. In the latest episode of such a case, the tech giant found itself defending its "Windows" branding against a businesswoman.

Kate McKenzie holding her Word Window reading tool
Kate McKenzie with her Word Window reading tool

The woman, Kate McKenzie, from Duston, Northampton, U.K., was trying to release her new reading tool dubbed "Word Windows". Inspired by her own and her son's struggles with reading due to dyslexia, the tool is designed to help such children in reading. It has been named as such since it helps to break words up in chunks that can be read via a gap.

Boy reading with Word Window reading tool

Here is the original cover image of the box that the Word Window tool will come in:

Word Window original name was Word Windows that led to dispute with Microsoft
via BBC

When Microsoft noticed her trademark, the company's lawyers contacted her as it violated the Windows branding, and McKenzie found herself in a bit of a pickle as she had already spent quite a fair amount of money on preparations of her product. In an interview with the BBC she said:

It was basically a threat of opposition against the trademark Word Windows.

They [Microsoft] weren't happy about the trademark and they weren't happy about the company name.

Luckily for McKenzie, Microsoft was ready to settle the dispute with her just dropping the "s" from the product name, and this must have come as big relief to her since going up against a giant the size of Microsoft wasn't going to be an easy task whatsoever. She confirmed the news to BBC Radio Northampton:

Everything is now resolved, the packaging has been reprinted, all the bits and pieces have been changed in terms of the website.

Hence, the handheld reading device has now been renamed to just "Word Window" with the contents inside - which will be the reading tool itself alongside manuals and stuff - remaining unchanged.

Source and images: BBC via Northampton Chronicle

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