Microsoft suing teenager

  • Bigwebmaster
  • Site Admin
  • Site Admin
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 9089
  • Loc: Seattle, WA & Phoenix, AZ

Post 3+ Months Ago

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Mike Rowe thinks it's funny that his catchy name for a Web site design company sounds a lot like Microsoft.

The software giant, however, is not amused.

"Since my name is Mike Rowe, I thought it would be funny to add 'soft' to the end of it," said Rowe, a 17-year-old computer geek and Grade 12 student in Victoria, British Columbia.

Microsoft Corp. and its attorneys have demanded that he give up his domain name, the Vancouver Province newspaper reported Sunday.

Rowe registered the name in August. In November, he received a letter from Microsoft's Canadian lawyers, Smart & Biggar, informing him he was committing copyright infringement.

He was advised to transfer the name to the Redmond, Wash.-based corporation.

"I didn't think they would get all their high-priced lawyers to come after me," Rowe said.

He wrote back asking to be compensated for giving up his name. Microsoft's lawyers offered him $10 in U.S. funds. Then he asked for $10,000.

On Thursday, he received a 25-page letter accusing him of trying to force Microsoft into giving him a large settlement.

"I never even thought of getting anything out of them," he said, adding that he only asked for the $10,000 because he was "sort of mad at them for only offering 10 bucks."

He said family and friends are backing him and a lawyer has offered to advise him for free.

He's also keeping his sense of humor.

"It's not their name. It's my name. I just think it's kind of funny that they'd go after a 17-year-old," Rowe said.

Company spokesman Jim Desler said Sunday, "Microsoft has been in communication with Mr. Rowe in a good faith effort to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. And we remain hopeful we can resolve this issue to everyone's satisfaction."

See the entire article here:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=s ... _unhappy_1
  • Anonymous
  • Bot
  • No Avatar
  • Posts: ?
  • Loc: Ozzuland
  • Status: Online

Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Axe
  • Genius
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5739
  • Loc: Sub-level 28

Post 3+ Months Ago

heh, that's funny
  • musik
  • Legend
  • Super Moderator
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 6893
  • Loc: up a tree

Post 3+ Months Ago

hahah too funny

if i were smarter id use linux but im not so MS is it for me boohoo ;)
  • UNFLUX
  • Genius
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 6376
  • Loc: twitter.com/unflux

Post 3+ Months Ago

i think that's really pathetic that they would waste time and
effort on that...and besides that, they won't win. And I really
hope they don't.
  • norie
  • Novice
  • Novice
  • norie
  • Posts: 18
  • Loc: bako

Post 3+ Months Ago

"i was just implying that i was a sensitive guy, that's all :("
  • musik
  • Legend
  • Super Moderator
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 6893
  • Loc: up a tree

Post 3+ Months Ago

do u think it will be thrown out of court?
  • Geekette
  • Proficient
  • Proficient
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 482
  • Loc: The Land of NeverWinter (FL)

Post 3+ Months Ago

Heh, clever, mikerowesoft.com :icontongue: But seriously, it is his name, they have no right to sue him over it.
  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

Probably. It is actually kind of childish to do that..

Whatever, I have disassociated myself from Mr. Globalism so I am nto to worried.
  • ModernDestroyer
  • Professor
  • Professor
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 794
  • Loc: California

Post 3+ Months Ago

:lol: microsft is worried about giving up $10,000 dollars, they probably paid more for the lawyer's retainers. A multi-billion dollar company would rather spent 1 or two million in court than $10,000 to pay the kid off and keep it out of the press. All I can say is good luck billy gates, taking on a 17 year old kid :lol:
  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

Ya wanna put him out of business? IT wouldn't be that hard. Go down to the HQ...sneak past security go into stealth mode and install linux on his computer.
  • ATNO/TW
  • Super Moderator
  • Super Moderator
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 23456
  • Loc: Woodbridge VA

Post 3+ Months Ago

I saw that just a bit ago. I thought the ZDNET article put it in better perspective:

http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104_2-5143614.html

Specifically this:

Quote:
Under the law, Microsoft is required to take action to protect its trademark against widespread infringement. Struan Robertson, editor of Out-Law.com, a Web site that covers legal issues affecting information technology, explained that if a holder does not take action to protect its trademark whenever it is aware of a potential infringement, it risks losing that protection.

Robertson gives Hoover as an example of a trademark that has become a generic word for vacuum cleaning: "If you or I talk about hoovering our house, that is not an issue, but if Electrolux talks about hoovering, that is an issue," he said.

  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

But still, it's the guys name for google's sake.

This is going up on my locker tomorrow *snickers*
Image
  • ATNO/TW
  • Super Moderator
  • Super Moderator
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 23456
  • Loc: Woodbridge VA

Post 3+ Months Ago

*lol --Just stating the facts... will be interesting to hear the response of that on your locker. I can see the headlines now "b_heyer is a communist - Accuses Microsoft of being Evil!"
  • Netmaster
  • Expert
  • Expert
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 535
  • Loc: Saint Joseph, MO

Post 3+ Months Ago

Microsoft filing charges against b_heyer for being a communist... I can see that happening..
  • Kairisika
  • Student
  • Student
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 95
  • Loc: Calgary, Canada

Post 3+ Months Ago

It really seems like BS. i mean, if you have microsoft.ca, and they are microsoft .com, there's a legit reason for concern, they don't want people misdirected. But it <i>is</i> his name, even if the -soft is added. They don't stand to lose anything out of it, there really shouldn't be any legal position for them to come from.
  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

Heheheh I can't wait. It'll be a blast to see who is waiting out side of my locker to punch me in the face:

"I ain't got no damn clue what Linu is, and I can't even spell Microsoft, but that thingy is all communist."

*sighs* I love our school :-D
  • Borrow -A- Geek
  • Professor
  • Professor
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 763
  • Loc: Dallas/Ft Worth, Texas

Post 3+ Months Ago

http://www.mikerowesoft.com
  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

Here is another one I did...

Image
  • Johan007
  • Guru
  • Guru
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1080
  • Loc: Aldershot, UK

Post 3+ Months Ago

oh bugger I better get rid of http://www.googlemail.com then :(
  • Nego
  • Expert
  • Expert
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 697
  • Loc: Chicago

Post 3+ Months Ago

b_heyer wrote:
This is going up on my locker tomorrow *snickers*
Image

dude! I have that sticker!!!! Well, almost the same.

What I think is funny about this story is that with all the financial problems that is going on in microsoft they use their highly paid lawyers to perform such tasks, perfectly illustrating just why they are loosing so much money every year.
  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

I edited the one I found because it was poor quality. Found my own hammer and sickle clip art and added in the text. Made it look how I wanted, thats what Linux is all about right? :-D
  • Nego
  • Expert
  • Expert
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 697
  • Loc: Chicago

Post 3+ Months Ago

Heh, sure

I found a similar bumber sticker at a novelette shop.
  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

Heh, sure = sarcastic?


Anyways back on topic I wrote this for a different forum and thought it'd be nice here too:

While I am not always pessimistic on human intentions, I think that you aren't seeing the true "evil" of this. Mike Rowe is the kids name! If he wants to put soft on the end of it let him. It ISN'T spelled like Microsoft's.

As far as I am concernered, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the US Constitution does not say anything about pheonetic sound of the trademarked name, it is however where the trademarking has come from:

Quote:
Clause 8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;


The Internation Trademark Association ( http://www.inta.org ) also does not state anything on the pheonetic sound of the trademark, but covers everything else rather clearly:

http://www.inta.org/info/faqsD.html#1 wrote:
A trademark is any word (Poison), name (Giorgio Armani), symbol or device (the Pillsbury Doughboy), slogan (Got Milk?), package design (Coca-Cola bottle) or combination of these that serves to identify and distinguishes a specific product from others in the market place or in trade. Even a sound (NBC chimes) color combination, smell or hologram can be a trademark under some circumstances. The term trademark is often used interchangeably to identify a trademark or service mark.


Even if it were to fall under dilution the supreme court still states that the company must show how this has effected their company.

It just isn't adding up. Mike Rowe is within his rights to that domain, and Microsoft is truely over reacting. It is nothing more then if http://www.google.com were to go and sue http://www.goggle.com/ simply because it has such a close spelling change.

It really IS just another instance of an economic giant, trying to squash anything it finds wrong.
  • Axe
  • Genius
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5739
  • Loc: Sub-level 28

Post 3+ Months Ago

a SMELL can be trademarked????
  • b_heyer
  • Web Master
  • Web Master
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 4581
  • Loc: Maryland

Post 3+ Months Ago

Hahah I know! I suppose that "new car smell" may be one ;) I can't wait to see what the guy says after me in the other topic, I did a few google searches and pretty much loosly interpretid everything, maybe he wont notice ;)
  • Axe
  • Genius
  • Genius
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 5739
  • Loc: Sub-level 28

Post 3+ Months Ago

Actually, I just spoke to Cheri about it, and she was telling me a few years ago, some big perfume company (company a) took some other big perfume company (company b) to court because one of company b's new scents smelled almost the same as one of company a's existing scents (I can't even pronounce the names, let alone spell them - it's all French to me, heh). Apparently they (company a) actually won too.
  • Gasolene
  • Beginner
  • Beginner
  • Gasolene
  • Posts: 39

Post 3+ Months Ago

I was under the impression that you could use any domain name you want as long as u don't reference the any company using that name. apparently this is not the case.

so If i have a domain called http://www.mypotatoe.com, and there's a company called My Potatoe, then they could sue me??

seems a bit unfair to me.
  • Geekette
  • Proficient
  • Proficient
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 482
  • Loc: The Land of NeverWinter (FL)

Post 3+ Months Ago

I found this whole thing so interesting that I am now a mod for his forum. :roll: Anyway, news from the boards:

Microsoft has reached an agreement with Mike Rowe, the Canadian teenager who was using the Web site mikerowesoft.com in alleged violation of the Microsoft trademark. Here are the details, as relayed by Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler. In exchange for Mike turning over the mikerowesoft.com domain to Microsoft, the company has:

Agreed to help direct any traffic from mikerowesoft.com to Rowe's new Web site (which he's currently working on) to make sure he doesn’t lose any business. The company will pay any out-of-pocket expenses related to this change, including cost associated with changing over to the new url and any other expenses. (The Rowe family is now calculating those expenses.)


Invited Mike and his family on to the Microsoft campus for the company's Microsoft Research Tech Fest in March. The company will pay for the travel and accommodations. No promises, but it's possible he could meet Bill Gates, depending on the Microsoft chairman's schedule, Desler said.


Agreed to pay for Mike to get Microsoft Certification training. Depending on which courses he chooses, this could lead him to become a certified support technician, or system administrator, or something along those lines.


Agreed to give Mike a subscription to MSDN, the Microsoft Developer Network Web site, with various tools for developing software around Microsoft products.


Agreed to give Mike an Xbox game system, complete with a number of games of his choosing.


Said Desler: "It is a story of a young, bright kid starting a business, came up with a creative domain, and I think our initial step was maybe perhaps a bit too impersonal. Once we understood the circumstances around it, we wanted to work things out in a way that would be fair to him." He said the company also wanted "to do things in a way that would foster his interest in technology."

Said Kim Rowe, Mike's father: "It's nice that this is over, so that he can go back to being Michael. He still has school and if he fails, that's six months of his life gone. He's also setting up his new Web site so that things can get zipped over there quickly and it will be ready and stuff, because he's going to get a whole whack of hits."

Mike, in a brief phone interview this afternoon, said he feels "good" about the way things turned out. "I'm just looking forward to all the media going away," he said. "I'm pleased that everything is over and we settled."
  • whatlikesit12345
  • Guru
  • Guru
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1211

Post 3+ Months Ago

WOW. i wonder who typed that in wrong.

Quote:
:: NEWS :: April 24th/2003 :: Site Launched
Welcome to MikeRoweSoft Design. I finally had time to design myself a portfolio to show off all of my work so I hope you enjoy.



if they just recently found it... how did they find it
  • IH8Purple
  • Guru
  • Guru
  • User avatar
  • Posts: 1215
  • Loc: Somewhere on Google Earth

Post 3+ Months Ago

*wishes his name was Micheal Row*
then when the B.G. comes after me I can get him good :evil:
  • Anonymous
  • Bot
  • No Avatar
  • Posts: ?
  • Loc: Ozzuland
  • Status: Online

Post 3+ Months Ago

Post Information

  • Total Posts in this topic: 34 posts
  • Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 60 guests
  • You cannot post new topics in this forum
  • You cannot reply to topics in this forum
  • You cannot edit your posts in this forum
  • You cannot delete your posts in this forum
  • You cannot post attachments in this forum
 
 

© 1998-2014. Ozzu® is a registered trademark of Unmelted, LLC.