Company: Microsoft's Windows campaign violates trademark

Small virtual-OS company G.ho.st says Microsoft's use of the phrase "no walls" in its Windows marketing campaign violates its trademark.

G.ho.st, a startup that offers a hosted operating system, has accused Microsoft of violating a company trademark with its prominent use of the phrase "no walls" in its recently unveiled US$300 million Windows marketing and advertising campaign.

A letter from G.ho.st CEO Zvi Schreiber sent to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer last Tuesday asked the company to stop using the phrases "life without walls," "imagine without walls" and "imagine no walls" on its products, Web site, marketing materials, advertising and other promotions and agree in writing to stop using these phrases by the close of business last Thursday.

As of Monday, Microsoft was still using the phrases in its campaign. Microsoft spokesman Michael Marinello said via e-mail Monday that the company acknowledged it had received Schreiber's letter but "the allegation is without merit."

Schreiber said G.ho.st has been using the phrase "no walls" to describe its G.ho.st Virtual Computer product, which is a hosted OS that runs in a virtual environment and is what he calls a "conceptual alternative to Windows," since April 2007.

Microsoft's use of "life without walls," "imagine without walls" and "imagine no walls" and their prominence on the marketing campaign "are virtually identical ... to our trademark," he wrote.

However, according to a record with the US Patent and Trademark Office, G.ho.st has not yet officially trademarked the phrase and only filed an application to do so last Tuesday, the day it sent Microsoft the letter.

Schreiber also suggested in the letter that Microsoft's use of the phrase "is designed to scare off potential investors in G.ho.st or partners of G.ho.st and prevent us from giving our innovative Virtual Computer solution a fair chance in the market place."

In addition to no longer using the phrase, G.ho.st also has requested that Microsoft publish "in the same media where these marks were displayed or advertised" clarification that it has not licensed G.ho.st's technology or trademark and that it doesn't offer the same "features or benefits of the G.ho.st Virtual Computer. "

Additionally, G.ho.st is asking Microsoft negotiate a "good faith" license for the past use of what the company believes is its trademark.

G.ho.st did not respond to a request for comment Monday about whether it would take legal action against Microsoft to resolve the matter. The company was founded in 2006 and has about 40 employees in Israel and the West Bank.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?