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Mike Rowe Soft

 
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Mikerowesoft.com.
In case you haven't heard, Microsoft is after a 17 year old kid for a domain name.
What I wonder is, aside from the fact that M$ has enough money to bankrupt this kid through the courts win or lose, what kind of a case does he have? Can MS really claim ownership of a Phonic sound?
 
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
What I wonder is, aside from the fact that M$ has enough money to bankrupt this kid through the courts win or lose, what kind of a case does he have? Can MS really claim ownership of a Phonic sound?


Do you think you could start a company called Koka-kola?
 
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Microsoft has admitted today that they "might have over-reacted" a little, most likely because of the negative media attention they were receiving.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

Do you think you could start a company called Koka-kola?


First, if your name was legally Koka Kola, then who knows. That's what I am asking.
Second, he is 17. His "company" is not a registered company of any kind. It's more like a hobby. Do you think someone is going to "accedently" go to mikerowesoft.com instead of microsoft.com? If Microsoft is so concerned about a domain name, they should have bought up all the ones they didn't want other people to have.
 
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i seached for microwsoft. but no way.
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basha
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by basha khan:
i seached for microwsoft. but no way.
---
basha


That's because it is mikerowesoft, not microwsoft.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
First, if your name was legally Koka Kola, then who knows. That's what I am asking.

The answer is no, you can't start a company called koka-kola.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
The answer is no, you can't start a company called koka-kola.


Why? I'm not questioning the fact. I am just wondering what the legal reasons are as to why you can't.
 
basha khan
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

That's because it is mikerowesoft, not microwsoft.


i searched microwsoft for registering.but the domain was taken.otherwise i would be another person who kicks gates ass.
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I remember hearing a story from this girl who was living in Scotland for a few months. According to her, The McDonald's Corporation sued a small Scotish pub/resturant named "McDonald's". The thing is the pub had been named that long before the fast food chain and it was called McDonald's because that was the owneres name. She thought I would get a kick out of that story.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Jon McDonald:
I remember hearing a story from this girl who was living in Scotland for a few months. According to her, The McDonald's Corporation sued a small Scotish pub/resturant named "McDonald's". The thing is the pub had been named that long before the fast food chain and it was called McDonald's because that was the owneres name. She thought I would get a kick out of that story.


The Minnesota Vikings once did something like that, trying to get all high schools to stop using the name "Vikings" for their football team. It stopped when they discovered one high school that had been using the name for 50 years before the pro team was formed!
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
Why? I'm not questioning the fact. I am just wondering what the legal reasons are as to why you can't.


A similar name that detracts from the value of a trademark or potentially confuses others into thinking an association may exist where none actually exists is a violation of federal law. It falls under the law of "trademark dilution."
 
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McDonalds - yes, close - back in 1996. First McDonalds sued the owner of a UK sandwich bar named McMunchies. Shortly afterwards Lord Godfrey MacDonald, chief of Clan MacDonald, announced his intention to sue McDonalds. (Note comments from an actual Ronald McDonald as well.) Unfortunately I can't find anything about how this was resolved. My guess is that McDonalds backed down in the face of negative publicity. But I don't really know. Anyone got more recent info?
 
Jim Yingst
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Koka-kola: I suppose it's possible you might be able to have a company called this - if it had nothing at all to do with beverages. E.g. Apple Computers and Apple Corps (the Beatles' company) were OK initially because they were in completely different fields. More recently there's been some trouble though as Apple Computers has been moving heavily into music with iPod and iTunes. And of course, grocers can sell macintosh apples without paying any royalites to Apple Computers (or vice versa, since macintosh apples are the "original" in this case). Trademark law is scoped by the context in which a trademark is held.
Now having said that, any company named Koka Kola would probably be just a lawsuit waiting to happen. Unless maybe the name was used before Coca-Cola gained prominence.
[Gregg]: [re: Mike Rowe] Second, he is 17. His "company" is not a registered company of any kind. It's more like a hobby. Do you think someone is going to "accedently" go to mikerowesoft.com instead of microsoft.com?
Unlikely at this point. But he's into web design now. What happens if he's at least moderately successful, and in the next ten years, expands to offer a wider range of related services? Microsoft might well have stronger reasons to go after him then. But if they wait now, they're essentially legitimizing his use of the name. Ten years from now, a judge would ask them why the %&#$ they didn't do something when the name first appeared. If they implicitly condone the use of the name now, it makes it harder to act against it later. For this reason, corporations often feel they have to go after infringements sooner rather than later. Of course sometimes they get a bit overzealous about it. But they're not entirely unjustified here, IMO.
Also, there are more than a few cybersquatters out there who bought up a name precisely so they can later get money from a corporation in exchange for giving up the domain. I have little sympathy for such tactics, if they're just in it for money from the corp. The problem is, how easy is it to tell which folks are legit and which aren't? Mike Rowe ought to be able to use his own name, sure, but I think he was asking for trouble by appending -soft. And I'm not at all sure he's just naively trying to operate a harmless hobby site. I can easily imagine someone pointing out to him that he could take advantage of his own name to try to get some $$ from a big evil corp. Or maybe not; maybe he's really "innocent". But I think MS is still within their rights here (for once) to preclude use of "MikeRoweSoft" for any computer-related business.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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But I think MS is still within their rights here (for once) to preclude use of "MikeRoweSoft" for any computer-related business.
Agreed. I was just curious as to the legality behind it. And as Tom points out:
A similar name that detracts from the value of a trademark or potentially confuses others into thinking an association may exist where none actually exists is a violation of federal law. It falls under the law of "trademark dilution."
The kid probably needs to just surrender the name. At least drop the "soft" off of it. Of course MS will be watching closely to see what else he may choose.
MikeRoweCorp
MikeRoweSolutions
MikeRoweInc
All possible targets?
 
Thomas Paul
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There are lots of companies with "Micro" in their name. There is a company called MicroSolutions for example.
 
He repaced his skull with glass. So you can see his brain. Kinda like this tiny ad:
Two software engineers solve most of the world's problems in one K&R sized book
https://coderanch.com/wiki/718759/books/Building-World-Backyard-Paul-Wheaton
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