Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 23 Mar. 2002, Vol 5 No. 12

In this issue:

w   Judge questions Microsoft's "Windows"

w   Web site visitor survey
w   Featured Software: MemoryBoost
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia


Judge questions Microsoft's "Windows" trademarks

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Last week (March 15), a federal judge questioned the validity of Microsoft's "Windows" trademarks.

Microsoft had filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit last December against, headed by Michael Robertson, the founder and former chief executive of, alledging the monikers Robertson chose for his company and its software infringed on Windows trademarks granted to the Microsoft in 1995.

The judge threw out Microsoft's request for a preliminary injunction against, maker of LindowsOS, disagreeing that the company's name and product cause confusion in the market, particularly since Microsoft itself had argued that LindowsOS might not work very well and that its own spending on promoting the Windows moniker could be measured in billions of dollars.

But more interesting, the judge said there were "serious questions" about the validity of the "Windows" trademarks, awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) after it had earlier refused their registration. The judge wrote in his ruling: "Although certainly made a conscious decision to play with fire by choosing a product and company name that differs by only one letter from the world's leading computer software program, one could just as easily conclude that in 1983 Microsoft made an equally right decision to name it products after a term commonly used in the trade to indicate the windowing capability of a GUI".

"While Microsoft made an early entry into the market for windows-based user interfaces it is undisputed that several other companies had developed interfaces with an overlapping windows feature prior to the 1985 release of Windows 1.0," the judge also wrote. "Although, at the time, the computer industry may not have referred to a GUI's windowing capability by using the term 'windows' with the same uniformity as it does today, both the trade press and general publications often referred to this revolutionary feature of personal computers as some variant of 'window.'"

Microsoft spokesman Jon Murchinson said that the company was disappointed with the ruling and will continue to pursue its claim in order to protect the Windows trademark.

"Windows is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, and we will defend the years of hard work that went into building it into a trusted name among consumers," he said.

The ruling against Microsoft is only preliminary and doesn't have immediate legal implications.

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Recent Support BBS Postings

Ghost buttons on Taskbar - Windows 98 Discussions
Paging File Size - Windows XP
How to assign static IP addresses in WinXP? - Networking
Shell32 Security Patch Disables TweakUI Function - Security/Virus
Bandwidth Tester - General Discussions


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Web Site Updates

These pages were added/updated in the past 2 weeks. Information on previously updated/added pages is available on the What's New? page for 1 month.
Added: Identity Theft
Added: Are You Ready For A Computer With Government Restrictions Built-In?

Updated: Microsoft Security: Java Applet Can Redirect Browser Traffic


Identity Theft

It's not that tough to avoid, but it's a dicey matter to repair!

Read Full Article
Are You Ready For A Computer With Government Restrictions Built-In?

New Law (SSSCA) could prohibit your legitimate use of copyrighted material even making the use of Linux illegal.

Read Full Article

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You Receive a "System Has Recovered from a Serious Error" Message After Every Restart

If Windows XP restarts because of a serious error, the Windows Error Reporting tool prompts you to report the problem to Microsoft for troubleshooting purposes. Windows may begin prompting you to report this information every time you restart the computer, even if no error occurred during the previous session. After this problem begins to occur, you are prompted to send the information after every restart, even if you choose not to send the information.

Microsoft have released an update to fix this problem (Applies to Windows XP Home Edition and Professional). Go to the Windows Update site (it's listed under critical Updates), or download it directly from Microsoft [2.86MB]

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