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News

10.08.2005 available in germanavailable in english

Trademark News

Microsoft acquires Vista Trademarks in Germany – Name Dispute over Windows ‘Vista’ unlikely
Microsoft has secured important trademarks and domains in Germany

In Germany no opposition is foreseen to ‘Vista’, the name of the new operating system from Microsoft. The trademark ‘vista’ which was registered in the German Trademark Register and stood as the only serious obstacle to the software giant, has already been secured by the company for itself. In the package : Both domains ‘vista.de’ and ‘vistacom.de’ as well as the trademark ‘Vistacom’ and the picture trademark ‘V’.

The trademark had already been handed over to Microsoft on 2nd June 2005, meaning the transaction was carried through in good time for the publicizing of the new name in July 2005. Initially, Microsoft appears to have carried out the sales arrangements via its lawyers under conditions of secrecy, and it was only during the course of events that it became clear that the client was no small undertaking, according to the ex-trademark holder.

The selling price had however fallen within his expectations. According to a statement from the expert lawyer Karsten Prehm, who led the negotiations in the dispute over the 60 million Euro trademark belonging to ebay as we have reported, this course of action is absolutely usual practice when you have a selling price within the six-figure zone.

Because of numerous existing ‘vista’ trademarks, it had been suspected that the new Windows name would not be introduced without conflict. A glimpse in the relevant register shows that for the time being no strife is anticipated in Germany over the name for the new operating system. Additionally, Microsoft’s own trademark application which it had instigated in Germany for the designation ‘Windows Vista’, has run smoothly. No opposition and no deletion petitions have surfaced.

Moreover, the in-the-interim extremely lucrative domain ‘vista.de’ is soon to be allowed to be used by Microsoft. The domain is indeed at the moment diverted to the ‘Transit Information Site’ of the German Registration Authority, Denic. The domain holder is however a lawyer from Munich. Since she works in the very same firm which organized the trademark transfer, everything here is presumably done and dusted. Likewise, the domain ‘vistacom.de’ is registered to the same lawyer.

In spite of these positive outcomes, there is no information emanating from Microsoft over the proceedings. Lawyer Hermann Kinkeldey, partner with the law firm responsible, stressed that he is under obligation to practice the greatest restraint in this delicate matter.

With the purchase of the trademark ‘vista’ in Germany, Microsoft has now monopolized this concept for its own products. By virtue of the expected strong recognition, this concept will hardly be useful for any other products in the future.

rmb / tos

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