Microsoft will fight to keep Office Live name

Microsoft will seek to invalidate a trademark-infringement claim by a company called Office Live

Microsoft said it will seek to invalidate claims by a California company that has sued it for trademark infringement over the "Office Live" name.

Office Live LLC filed a trademark-infringement suit against Microsoft in the U.S. District Court of Central California in Los Angeles earlier this month over Microsoft's Web-based small business package of the same name. Microsoft began offering Office Live in November 2006. It provides customer relationship management, a Web presence, collaboration and accounting services to small businesses.

In a statement sent by e-mail, Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said his company doubts the legitimacy of Office Live's trademark claim and will "vigorously defend" its legal position to maintain the name for its service.

"Clearly, if anyone is seeking to gain from the name of another company's products, it's the plaintiffs in this case," he said.

According to court papers, Office Live, in North Hollywood, California, is seeking damages and an injunction to stop Microsoft from using the Office Live name.

Microsoft branded its Office Live service as part of a larger hosted services plan that has been given the "Live" moniker. However, most of the other offerings in that strategy are branded as "Windows Live" services, such as Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Search and Windows Live Mail.

The company Office Live provides Web-enabled marketing, lead generation and virtual office services to professionals, and free marketing advice to consumers, according to its Web site. It also maintains the following Web sites: lawofficelive.com, autoofficelive.com, realtorsofficelive.com, doctorsofficelive.com, accountantsofficelive.com and psychologistsofficelive.com.

Office Live said it registered to trademark the "Office Live" name in 2002. It originally filed suit against Microsoft over the trademark in December 2006, but the case was put on hold so the companies could negotiate a settlement. When one was not reached, Office Live moved forward with its lawsuit against the software vendor.

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Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
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