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Microsoft Sued Over Bing Trademark

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the trademark-trolls-abound dept.

Microsoft 191

mentus writes "Bing! Information Design, a design company from Missouri, is suing Microsoft over 'intentional interference' with their trademark and claiming Microsoft had knowledge of the trademark when it relaunched its rebranded search engine. Microsoft legal representative Kevin Kutz states that he believes the case will be dismissed and that Microsoft 'always respect[s] trademarks and other people's intellectual property, and look[s] forward to the next steps in the judicial process.'"

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191 comments

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511434)

suck my cock and eat my asshole!

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511694)

a/s/l?

Re:fp (2, Funny)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512504)

Are you suggesting a new name for Bing -- perhaps "Bung"?

Must wait to have all info (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511460)

I reserve my opinion until Mat Perry's declarations on the subject.

Re:Must wait to have all info (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511842)

I reserve my opinion until Mat Perry's declarations on the subject.

I reserve my opinion until I have your opinion.

Re:Must wait to have all info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512106)

I'm not good with decisions. How about a sarcastic comment?
-Chandler Bing

Re:Must wait to have all info (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512256)

I must be having a case of the Mondays. It took me WAY too long to get that joke.

Re:Must wait to have all info (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512590)

I must be having a case of the Mondays. It took me WAY too long to get that joke.

Probably a case of subconscious self preservation of sanity.

Trapped! (5, Insightful)

HNS-I (1119771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511470)

I wonder why people always start claiming their rights so late.

However, a trademark application for the name was not filed until May - when rumours about Microsoft's new product had already spread widely across the internet.
Microsoft, meanwhile, filed its own trademark applications for the name in March - for a variety of uses, including search engine software, interface software, advertising, telecoms and for "providing a website and website links to geographic information, map images and trip routing".

Aren't you obliged to protect your mark? Seems to me they have nothing on MS.

Re:Trapped! (1, Interesting)

robwgibbons (1455507) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511542)

If Bing! can demonstrate prior art and public use of the trademark, they could potentially have some clout in court provided they have sufficiently deep pockets to sustain a few rounds of legal wrestling with Microsoft. If a business or trademark name is "deceptively or intentionally similar" to an established entity, it is technically in violation by definition.

Re:Trapped! (5, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511664)

That's part of what makes this case potentially meaningless, in a moral sense, not a case law sense ... the fact that there are deep pockets involved and it may well be decided not on merits, but on who can throw enough money at protecting their interest.

Re:Trapped! (1, Troll)

siloko (1133863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512108)

and coupled with the legal dude saying Microsoft

always respect[s] trademarks and other people's intellectual property, and look[s] forward to the next steps in the judicial process.

So a moral vacuum soon filled by buckets of evil. Nature hates a vacuum and none is more easily filled than a vacuum in a courtroom. With buckets of evil. Got that?

Re:Trapped! (5, Informative)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511672)

"Prior art" is not a trademark-related term.

Re:Trapped! (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512642)

Thank you.

Re:Trapped! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512926)

True, but since trademarks are "first to use" not "first to file", showing that:

1) You had your brand to market first, and
2) Their brand is interfering with your brand

allows you to make an excellent case that it is your mark, and not theirs. Sounds a lot like prior art, though in the "I said it first!" version, rather than a "public domain!" result.

But why would it be intentionally similar? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511774)

If a business or trademark name is "deceptively or intentionally similar" to an established entity, it is technically in violation by definition.

The thing is that nobody had heard about Bing before MS. As such, MS wasn't trying to benefit from the fame that the name already had. If they began manufacturing footwear and chose Nike for their productname, I could see the motivation: Appearing to relate to an established entity in order to sell more. But creating a search engine called "Bing"? I don't think any of us had the first reaction of "Ah, like that Bing Information Designers?" but we all thought "Ah, what a stupid name. :D"

I'm not saying that MS didn't know of the company. They certainly should have researched more. But I can't understand why would they intentionally choose something deceptively similar to something that nobody had never heard of before. While MS knows that they can face anyone in court, I would assume their sizeable legal team had forced them to adopt strict and heavy processes to avoid this kind of stuff. To me this seems more like a fuckup committed by some very low level employees than anything decided by high management.

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511886)

"That's a good name, let's steal like we do all our IP"

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512434)

"That's a good name, let's steal like we do all our IP"

Yeah, but... Bing? That's like breaking into Fort Knox so that you can steal paper clips.

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (5, Funny)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511970)

I think the reason they did not know about Bing! was because they tried to find them with Bing. Should've googled it...

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (4, Interesting)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511992)

I am unsure if it is a matter of how famous the company is or how large they are.

I think it is a matter of: even in whatever city they are in, now when they even do something like put something in the classifieds or whatever they do, it will say Bing and people will directly think of Microsoft's Bing.

I could see that hurting business.

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (4, Interesting)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512086)

But then again, Sony sued Sonny's Restaurant in Boston (I think), because people were pronouncing it 'so-nee'. Sony won.

Ok, this might only relate tangentially to the story but I still think it's funny in a flat cat kinda' way.

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512796)

I'm expecting Dave Bing (formerly of the Detroit Pistons and Bing Steel) to chime in on this, as well as the estate of Bing Crosby. :)

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513054)

Ooh, I want to see the cartoon Bing burst out with White Christmas. That'll show 'em!

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (2, Interesting)

bdenton42 (1313735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512908)

Unless you're talking about a different case it appears to be Sony Corp vs Sony's Restaurant. So it is the same name, although given that Sony Corp doesn't sell any food that I'm aware of I'm not sure why they got excited about it. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-1331412.html [encyclopedia.com]

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513006)

I doubt this story. There is a large bbq chain called Sonny's and there is also Shony's.

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512190)

The thing is that nobody had heard about Bing before MS.

I had. She's a friend of our family. "Bing" is a fairly common Chinese given name. And, come to think of it, lots of people have heard of Bing Crosby. I think that would be significant if this were about copyright, but as this is about a trademark I suspect it isn't.

Re:But why would it be intentionally similar? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512428)

I agree with everything except the "what a stupid name" part. When I first heard of that name for a search engine it gave me a case of the real LOLs. After all, naming it Bing Is Not Google (bing)? Hilarious! I would have thought more of the GNU crowd would by into a name like that...

Re:Trapped! (5, Informative)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511796)

I wonder why people always start claiming their rights so late.

Because obtaining trademarks is costly and time-consuming, and because an unregistered trademarks is still a protected mark. This is a fairly small company who, until recently, probably found that an unregistered trademark was sufficient for them. Now that Microsoft has started using the name, they've decided they need to protect themselves further.

Aren't you obliged to protect your mark?

They are. They filed suit and began the process of registering their trademark. They've been using it since 2000, so they should have no problem getting the trademark, since the system is "first to use", not "first to file".

Re:Trapped! (3, Insightful)

will_die (586523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512068)

You are required to protect your trademark but the two companies have the trademark for different items.
THe company is sueing now because the amount of advertising Microsoft has put into the search engine Bing is causing confusion with the customers of the company that is sueing Bing. The time of the confusion is what would matter for the start of the lawsuit.

Re:Trapped! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512692)

More to the point, it would be *really* hard to prove consumer confusion between a design firm and a Internet search engine, even if they were aggressively defending their trademark.

When has that stopped anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512974)

Firebird (The Browser)

sued by

Firebird (The Database)

These are not easy to confuse.

But the Database Firebird still sued.

Intel and their Pentium sued Gentium, a geological survey company (they folded, but what's latin for earth?)

I only every think of one thing with Bing...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511476)

Lauren:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSNK-9v7_JI

Dupe ??? (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511482)

I can't find it, but hasn't this been discussed earlier?

Re:Dupe ??? (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511990)

Not this one, but there have been at least 2 other lawsuits over the name. One for an application whoes initials are BING and one for boingbing(or something like that).

Re:Dupe ??? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512142)

I think there was a little kid's show up in Canadia called Bing and Bong.

Ok, just found it on Wikipedia: Tiny Planets [wikipedia.org] , starring Bing and Bong. This show was back in 2000/2001 so doubt it figures in anything with this story.

First time? (4, Informative)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511492)

Uh, did this lawyer just fall off the turnip truck or what? Hate to tell you this Skippy Suit, but this ain't the first time Big Daddy Desktop has been in a courtroom for shit like this.

Microsoft definition of being "respectful" is cutting a check large enough to be bought out or go away.

Re:First time? (5, Insightful)

Z1NG (953122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511634)

What makes you think the lawyer wants anything but a big check and free advertising for the company?

Re:First time? (2, Insightful)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511882)

What makes you think his client wants anything different.

Re:First time? (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512534)

You may have a point here. The suit may be filed just to get "free" publicity. Fighting a big and generally hated company in court -- you can't lose this, really.

Re:First time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512062)

As "Bill Gates" said on "The Simpsons": "Buy him out boys!" (and the goons then smash Homer's desk)

Re:First time? (4, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512146)

All right boys, buy him out!

*smash, crash, crush*

Mr. Simpson, you didn't think I got this rich by writing checks did you?

From TFA (5, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511498)

"...a trademark application for the name was not filed [by the plaintiff] until May - when rumours about Microsoft's new product had already spread widely across the internet."

"Microsoft, meanwhile, filed its own trademark applications for the name in March - for a variety of uses, including search engine software, interface software, advertising, telecoms and for 'providing a website and website links to geographic information, map images and trip routing'."

Says it all really. This company didn't even bother trying to establish trademark rights until two months after Microsoft, after news of the new engine had leaked. This screams trademark troll.

Re:From TFA (1)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511556)

"...and look[s] forward to the next steps in the judicial process.'"

Legal speak for, "we will crush you."

Re:From TFA (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512046)

Legal speak for, "we will crush you."

Sung by lawyers to the tune of "We Will Rock You".

Re:From TFA (1)

XavidX (1117783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512498)

Yep First he Suger Coats it with

"'always respect[s] trademarks and other people's intellectual property"

and then

"and look[s] forward to the next steps in the judicial process"

Bring it on

Re:From TFA (5, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511682)

Says it all really. This company didn't even bother trying to establish trademark rights until two months after Microsoft, after news of the new engine had leaked. This screams trademark troll.

I know absolutely nothing about this case, so take my comments with as much salt as you feel necessary...

But, just to play devil's advocate...

It could also be that the company never felt the need to establish trademark rights until news of the new engine leaked. Perhaps this Bing! company was fairly unique in the area it does business in... And if anyone said Bing! they thought immediately of this company... But with Microsoft's re-branded search engine folks now think of Microsoft instead of this Bing! company.

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511892)

That's not Microsofts fault though.

Re:From TFA (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512322)

That's not Microsofts fault though.

Having been on the wrong end of a trademark claim I can tell you that that doesn't matter in the slightest.

Re:From TFA (2, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512662)

Actually it is Microsoft's fault. They have a responsibility, as all companies do, to be sure that their company and product names are unique enough in whatever markets they choose to do business that they will not cause confusion.

If consumers are harmed by the confusing similarity of product names or company names, this is a cause of action. Microsoft should have conducted a thorough search before naming Bing to be sure it wouldn't cause confusion. Or if they really liked the name Bing, they should have contacted this fellow to see if they could buy the name from him.

Re:From TFA (1)

rrhubart (1130427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512794)

Or, they figured Microsoft would sue them as soon as the Trademark was completed, so they are trying to get on the record first.

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511810)

A trademark does not have to be registered to be valid. They probably registered as a first step in protecting their existing trademark because of the Microsoft rumours. Moreover, at the time of registration, Microsoft had not yet used it on any product or service, so Microsoft had no right to it even if Bing! Information Design did completely rip off the name from them.

Re:From TFA (4, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511862)

No, it doesn't really say anything. They were a small fish happily using the trademark for the past nine years without any trouble. There was no need for them to register the mark, which is still legally protected even without registration. Trademark registration is expensive and takes years to complete, so many small companies are content to use unregistered trademarks.

However, now that Microsoft has stepped on their turf, they've decided they need additional protection, so they began the process of registering the mark. They should have no problem getting that registration since they likely have ample proof that they've been using it for nine years (marketing materials, print advertisements, maybe some TV commercials, etc).

Different fields (3, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511502)

Unless they are in the search-engine business, I'm not sure they have a trademark claim even if they were first. There is little likelihood of confusion after all.

This will be big (0, Flamebait)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511506)

failed business from Missouri suing failed search engine for mostly unknown brand of zero value.

Re:This will be big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511602)

Why must every Microsoft related story generate these juvenile disparaging remarks?

Perhaps the authors are simply projecting their own feelings of failure and inadequacy onto external causes, Microsoft being the biggest target.

Re:This will be big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511696)

Truth in a nutshell. Guess the AC MS mods got here first.

Yeah, right. (1, Informative)

MojoRilla (591502) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511510)

Yeah, right. Microsoft always respects other companies trademarks. Except when they don't like them. Tell that to Lindows [wikipedia.org] who Microsoft unsuccessfully sued for trademark infringement, and who eventually sold the Lindows trademark to Microsoft for $20 million.

Re:Yeah, right. (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511678)

They sold the Lindows trademark to Microsoft for $20 million?

1. Start new Linux distro with a name that sounds like "Windows", but not too close (ex: not "Wimdows" or "Winblows"). At this point I would suggest "Bingdows" just for the fun of it.
2. Wait for Microsoft to sue for trademark infringement
3. Have Microsoft's case thrown out
4. Ask Microsoft to respect you [slashdot.org]
5. Profit!

Re:Yeah, right. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512712)

Only if you have the money for afford lawyers in the first place.

AOL threatened to sue all the GAIM developers to kingdom come. It didn't matter that AOL was in the wrong. They can afford lawyers, and the GAIM developers were poor college students. GAIM was renamed Pidgin.

My mother recently got screwed over pretty bad by a big company. She was completely legally in the right, but it doesn't matter when only one side can afford a lawyer.

Re:Yeah, right. (1, Interesting)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512394)

>who eventually sold the Lindows trademark to Microsoft for $20 million.

How horrible. 20 million!

Sigh, I love how /. is anti IP until it involves MS, then its all "WE MUST PROTECT COPYRIGHT/TRADEMAKRS/PATENTS AT ALL COSTS."

Re:Yeah, right. (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512752)

It seems like Microsoft respected Lindows to the tune of $20 million.

What message am I supposed to be taking from your post? "Microsoft doesn't respect IP! They just pay massive amounts of cash for it."

Unless your "yeah, right" *wasn't* intended as sarcasm, in case I guess it all makes sense.

Add the E. (0, Offtopic)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511512)

I was hoping a meme would catch on, to call it "binge," but that never happened. Maybe they should just add the E themselves, to avoid the trademark dispute. (Yeah, I know, the trademark claim is incredibly weak, but I can dream.)

cafepress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511906)

Is the shitty weeaboo cafepress link necessary in your sig? It's hard to take you seriously.

Re:Add the E. (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511918)

I was hoping a meme would catch on, to call it "binge," but that never happened.

I just call it "google"...

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511540)

So what does the Crosby family have to say about this?

Patent Application Filings (0, Redundant)

srollyson (1184197) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511546)

I believe Microsoft's going to win this one. From the article:

However, a trademark application for the name was not filed until May - when rumours about Microsoft's new product had already spread widely across the internet.

Microsoft, meanwhile, filed its own trademark applications for the name in March - for a variety of uses, including search engine software, interface software, advertising, telecoms and for "providing a website and website links to geographic information, map images and trip routing".

bing.biz (2, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511568)

Hmm. Microsoft got bing.com a while ago

WHOIS results for bing.com
Created on..............: 1996-01-28.

The Wayback Machine shows the first Microsoft Bing.com site (Coming Soon!) in 2003.

Now, Bing! is Bing.biz which is registererd (in Madeira, Portugal)
Domain Registration Date: Wed Nov 07 00:01:00 GMT 2001

and it says ion the web site

Bing! is a small design firm started in 2000 in St. Louis, Mo.

So, I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but it looks to me that Microsoft started thinking about using this name back in 1996. If they didn't actually start using it until 2003, they will probably have to settle. If they did something back in 1996, as long as it was public, and they kept records, Bing! will lose.

Re:bing.biz (5, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511674)

Hmm. Microsoft got bing.com a while ago

WHOIS results for bing.com
Created on..............: 1996-01-28.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but surely all that means is someone registered it in 1996. It may have changed hands several times before being taken over by Microsoft.

Re:bing.biz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512186)

True, but if they bought any trademark that the unknown party had obtained in 1996 along with the site, then they have records and the case is pretty much in the bag.

Re:bing.biz (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512344)

True, but if they bought any trademark that the unknown party had obtained in 1996 along with the site, then they have records and the case is pretty much in the bag.

If Microsoft already own a trademark on Bing I can't see how this case would have got even this far.

Re:bing.biz (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512764)

If Microsoft already own a trademark on Bing I can't see how this case would have got even this far.

Why ? Bing! just sued. We don't know the back story. Maybe they tried to contact MS when Bing search came out, and got a run-around. Maybe it took a while to get a lawyer to do this on contingency. We just don't know (yet).

It is possible to have multiple trademarks on the same name, if the uses are sufficiently different. Bing.com does search. Bing.biz does design (apparently for corporate imagery). It is not clear to me that, even if Bing.biz has precedence, Bing.com would necessarily be viewed as interfering.

Re:bing.biz (2, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512348)

Only if that domain name was being used for something like search or advertising. If it was Bing Dry Cleaners (fictional), then they might own a trademark on Bing in the laundry services industry, but not search.

Re:bing.biz (0)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512664)

It's not how that works. I can't just open a new business called General Motors All Donkey Erotica, because General Motors has a trademark on General Motors (though I assume my business would be far more profitable than the real General Motors right now).

Where I live in Nebraska, the University of Nebraska strongly enforces the "Husker" trademark. If you open a shop called Husker Glass to replace windshields, the University will come after you and demand you license the trademark. And they will all of these cases.

Re:bing.biz (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512740)

And yet Apple Records and Apple Computer still manage to both exist as trademarks. Although the whole iTunes thing really messed that up. Worked fine until Apple got into the music business [wikipedia.org]

Re:bing.biz (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512788)

Correction: Apple Computer now exclusively owns the trademark as part of the iTunes settlement.

Re:bing.biz (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512792)

I just made a comment about that myself. Apple Computers signed a contract promising not to get into the music business and then breached it. Those Brits at Apple Records are just too nice to get really nasty over the whole affair.

Effectively Apple Records allowed Apple Computers to infringe on their trademark. But Apple Records was within their right to blast Apple Computers from not only stealing their trademarked name, but also their trademarked logo.

Trademarks are different from patents in that they only have as much weight as you enforce them.

Re:bing.biz (2, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512884)

AMF, Inc v Sleekcraft Boats, 599 F.2d 341 (C.A.9) 1979 established a precedent, including 8 criteria for trademark infringement - one of which being "Proximity of the goods" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_infringement [wikipedia.org]

Re:bing.biz (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513016)

Most trademark cases I've read about are for two very different products with similar names. For instance, all the Husker trademark cases in Nebraska. The "Huskers" are athletic programs at the University of Nebraska, yet they have successfully leveraged their trademark over anything named "Husker" in the state.

The Wikipedia entry isn't clear if you need all 8 criteria, or merely a combination of them.

In the Apple case, you aren't simply grabbing a common name, you're grabbing the exact name of a well known brand, and copying the logo at the same time. That is pretty damning.

Re:bing.biz (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512832)

I already replied, but I realize I wasn't as clear as I should be.

Technically two companies named Bing can have seperate trademarks basically if they agree to do so. If neither tries to establish and enforce its trademark exclusively, everything is fine.

Bing! has a right to try and enforce Bing exclusively as a trademark. Both sides have a bit of case here it seems, given that Bing! existed first, but they didn't truly start to enforce their trademark until after Microsoft started to advertise their Bing service.

Re:bing.biz (4, Informative)

txsable (169665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512708)

Microsoft did not own bing.com until March 4, 2009 when the domain ownership changed from "Davryn Pty Ltd" in Melbourne, Australia to Microsoft. Since 2002 the name bing.com has had several owners, including some guy in Michigan, someone in Denver; Palo Alto, CA; was transferred to an Australian company in 2007 until MS bought it in 2009. So no, Microsoft does not have long-standing claims on the Bing name, at least based on their domain registration.

(Reference: Domaintools.com Whois History records).

Bing? (-1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511590)

Ned: Phil? Hey, Phil? Phil! Phil Connors? Phil Connors, I thought that was you!
Phil: Hi, how you doing? Thanks for watching.
[Starts to walk away]
Ned: Hey, hey! Now, don't you tell me you don't remember me because I sure as heckfire remember you.
Phil: Not a chance.
Ned: Ned... Ryerson. "Needlenose Ned"? "Ned the Head"? C'mon, buddy. Case Western High. Ned Ryerson: I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show? Bing! Ned Ryerson: got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn't graduate? Bing, again. Ned Ryerson: I dated your sister Mary Pat a couple times until you told me not to anymore? Well?
Phil: Ned Ryerson?
Ned: Bing!
Phil: Bing.

Bing? (take two) (-1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511604)

Ned: Phil?
Phil: Ned?
[Punches Ned in the face]

Bing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30511640)

If they shout out Bing! they should be alright in Balmer's book.

I can't verify if this video [mashable.com] is true, but if it is... Damn, that shows quite a temper right there.
Anyone want to hazard a guess for its authenticity?

Have you never seen a good idea? (0, Offtopic)

athowell (1459491) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511802)

I've seen sites with a design I liked and used a similar idea.. is this wrong?

obviously not copied .. (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30511986)

Bing! and bing(TM) .. :)

More (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512092)

I hear Zombie Bing Crosby is none too pleased, either.

Wouldn't it be a good thing? (2, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512124)

Am I alone thinking that if this company wins their suit maybe Microsoft would actually rename their search engine to something not as cringeworthy?

Ask Homer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512148)

Microsoft 'always respect[s] trademarks and other people's intellectual property, and look[s] forward to the next steps in the judicial process

Yeah, right. Just ask Homer Simpson about it.

So stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512150)

So someone else too is stupid enough to choose the same stupid name, and is even stupid enough to defend that name?

Did I say stupid enough?

Self-contradicting statement? (0, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512388)

Microsoft legal representative Kevin Kutz states that he believes the case will be dismissed and that Microsoft 'always respect[s] trademarks [...]

The case being dismissed would be not respecting the trademark.

With being able to say such a soulless twisted lie right in our faces, without even twitching, I’m sure he’ll soon have a job in the government. :/

Bing! (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512538)

Ah, I see you have the lawyer that sues Bing! He is my favorite. You see, he works on a contingency basis and that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account.

Questionable. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512596)

Frankly, I think it's too bad for these guys. If they felt they had such a distinctive identity they should have trademarked it sooner. They had 9 years to do so and didn't bother until Microsoft introduced their rebranded search engine. Being in the design industry myself, we've recommended clients trademark their identities a number of times. These guys, working in the same space should have realized the same for themselves.

They don't even come up in the first 10 pages of a Google search so they apparently didn't bother doing much to promote themselves. Although the results are laden with references to the search engine I was able to find a couple of businesses in there, two examples being The Bing Group and Bing's Bakery.

Then there's the fact that the search engine and this company don't inhabit the same space at all, so whether or not they had been trademarked would possibly have been irrelevant. That said, anyone who knows about the search engine will probably make the connection when they see the name. Whether it will hurt them in any way is debatable, at worst it will be a conversation piece which will be easily explained away especially since they've linked it to the concept of a lightbulb. The problem is that this company doesn't even use their own identity consistently and the Guardian doesn't even get their name right. Their own site refers to the company as Bing! Information Design, but then elsewhere on the site they refer to themselves as Bing!

Considering that they're designers they're likely Apple devotees. They might feel wronged, but I bet they're relishing the opportunity to take on evil Microsoft.

Apple (0, Troll)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512626)

This reminds me. Apple Computers blatantly stole their name and logo from Apple Records. Apple Records agreed not to sue them into oblivion so long as Apple Computers promised not to get into the music business. That was nice of them.

Apple Computers did get into the music business, and are now the #1 retailer of music. Apple Records said this was a clear breach of their contract. Apple Computers replied with "get bent, and we'll do whatever the fuck we want."

Time and time again, Apple does all the evil things that Microsoft gets blasted for. Why exactly does Apple get a free pass?

Off-topic (0)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512684)

Sorry, but I don't see what a random rant about Apple has to do with this.

Re:Off-topic (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512836)

I seriously doubt anyone in the Slashdot crowd will defend Microsoft. No doubt this entire story will fill up with comments about how Microsoft is evil and doesn't respect trademarks (as it already is).

I'm drawing a comparison to a company that seems to be well loved by the Slashdot crowd that is doing the same thing.

If we're going to call out Microsoft for not respecting trademarks, why does Apple get a free pass?

I think it is a valid question.

Re:Apple (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513098)

Well in that case the trademark holder was an evil record company, not a friendly design firm.

Hopefully MS fights it to the death (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512674)

Since it is such an obvious case, it is clear that MS's only motivation to settle would be to avoid costs. Hopefully, MS sees the moral hazard in encouraging such blatant criminal behavior, and instead decides to counter sue.

The very first complaint filed should be against the plaintiff's attorney, for failing to do due diligence. (This is a law in most states, I swear.)

Bing! NOT EQUAL Bing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512678)

5 chars vs 4 chars

After Lindows, why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512914)

After Lindows, why not?

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