An online services company for the professions is suing Microsoft for allegedly breaching its Office Live trademark.
Office Live LLC has announced that it is proceeding with litigation against Microsoft, seeking to prevent Microsoft from using Office Live to promote its recently launched on-demand productivity applications.
US company Office Live, which provides online services to lawyers, accountants, doctors and others, obtained a federal registration on the Office Live trademark in 2002. It has used the Office Live mark since early 2001.
In late October 2006, Microsoft announced that it planned to begin offering online productivity tools targeted at small businesses under the name Office Live to paid subscribers, as well as a free, ad-sponsored version.
Office Live LLC brought its lawsuit to a US district on 29 December, but agreed to withhold its action to allow settlement negotiations to take place with Microsoft.
After these settlement talks broke down, the lawsuit was served on Microsoft, which now says it will fight it. Microsoft claimed Office Live’s trademark did not cover its products.
Office Live CEO Lenny Targon said, “Microsoft seems to think that it can do whatever it wants just because we are a much smaller company. 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," said Targon.
Office Live's lawsuit seeks both monetary damages and an injunction preventing Microsoft from continuing to use the Office Live name.
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