Microsoft Takes On MikeRoweSoft

from the ah,-trademark-law dept

I'm surprised this one hasn't gotten more attention yet (though, it probably will). A kid in Canada named Mike Rowe needed a name for his website design business, and picked the somewhat obvious choice: MikeRoweSoft.com. The legal folks at a company you might have heard of, Microsoft, didn't take too kindly to that, and sent the typical threatening legal letter. They offered Mr. Rowe a whopping $10 for the domain. He wrote back saying $10,000 seemed more appropriate - and now Microsoft is accusing him of holding the domain hostage to try to get money out of Microsoft. I read the story a few times before I actually believed it. Even the name of the Microsoft law firm involved in this case (Smart & Biggar) made me wonder if it's all a big hoax - but it all seems real enough. Before the legal beagles chip in with the point that Microsoft needs to do this to protect their trademark, I'll respond by saying that this should be a perfect example of why that rule doesn't make much sense. How many people are actually going to confuse MikeRoweSoft with Microsoft? If anything, Mr. Rowe is going to have more trouble getting people to remember what his domain name is - as he's going to need to spell it out to everyone. However, as a publicity stunt for Mr. Rowe's web design business, this is probably going to help him out quite a bit.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jan 2004 @ 11:43am

    Re:


    Funny, you miss the point that Microsnot does NOT own MikeRoweSoft.com so I don't see how they could charge him.
    It's his name & since when do Microsoft own names like Mike Rowe ?
    Why should he try to be less similar ?
    The spellings are not even close.

    Microsoft take the high road ???? All they have done is to HELP this man INCREASE his traffic by sueing !

    Its an insult they offered him less money than he spent to register it.

    Go suck some corporate lawyers patootie ...

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.