About Windows trademark notoriety


AG Communication Systems Corporation v. Microsoft Corporation (Court of Appeal of Paris - 18/12/98)

According to the French Law (Art. L 711-4), a trademark can be considered as being anticipated by an earlier sign that is well known within the meaning of Article 6bis of the Convention of Paris. It is on the basis of this article and of its sign WINDOWS (later filed on 29/07/92), that Microsoft decided to proceed against Communication Systems and its trademark WINDOWPHONE (filed on 28/04/92). However, the notoriety of WINDOWS, if it is evident nowadays, had to prooved on the filing date of WINDOPHONE. This is what Microsoft could not do, Windows 3.1 being just at its beginning in April 1992. And all the articles indicating that, in 1996, Windows 95 was installed on a large part of the computers, were not retained. The copyright law for protecting the name of its software was neither useful to Microsoft. As a matter of fact, WINDOWPHONE does not reproduce the title WINDOWS. The trademark WINDOWS does not reproduce neither the trademark WINDOWPHONE, and therefore was not cancelled...