Learning from Microsoft's Hard Trademark Lesson: Your Technology Start-Up Clients Need a Multi-Faceted IP Strategy


Microsoft introduced its Windows(R) product in 1985, but delayed filing for trademark protection until 1990. By this time, however, the public associated the word "Windows" with the specific operation of the software. The US Trademark Office initially denied Microsoft's application because of the Microsoft's successful marketing efforts. The result was that Microsoft almost lost its Windows trademark just as the product was becoming widely accepted into the marketplace. Today, Microsoft follows an aggressive and multi-faceted approach to IP protection. Any lawyer representing an early stage technology company should use Microsoft's experience as an object lesson why IP protection should be a fundamental aspect of one's business plan.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Jackie Hutter, IP Strategist, The Hutter Group LLC: IP Business Strategy | Attorney Advertising

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