Judgment in the lawsuit Microsoft vs. Unicaresoft (Regarding MSNLOCK)

Posted by bink on May 8 2008, 4:01 PM. Posted in Legal Issues.

Microsoft, Schiphol, The Netherlands: Yesterday the court passed judgment on the lawsuit we took out against the Dutch company Unicaresoft Corporation B.V. This lawsuit was instigated in response to Unicaresoft's unauthorized use of Microsoft's trade name MSN in its product name and various domain names. The court found in favor of Microsoft. This means that Unicaresoft may not use the name MSNLOCK and that the domain names must be transferred to Microsoft.

We regret that this case had to come to court. In the three months prior to the hearing we corresponded extensively with Unicaresoft to urge them to drop MSNLOCK as its product name and to stop using MSN in its domain names.

MSN is our trade name and we do not want it to be used in the name of another company's product or website (weblink). This would merely sow confusion among consumers as regards ownership and association. We therefore take action as soon as we discover unauthorized use of a Microsoft trade name, as demonstrated by the countless examples we submitted to the court.

We took legal proceedings against Unicaresoft because of the use of MSNLOCK as a product name and the use of MSN in domain names. Carola Eppink, who was portrayed as the defendant by the media, was never in the frame and was not a party in the court case.

We became aware of the name MSNLOCK when an application was submitted for trade name registration. We duly submitted a formal objection. It was not until just before the case was called that we learned that Unicaresoft was no longer using the name MSNLOCK. Even so, we petitioned for a prohibition on the use of the product name MSNLOCK and various domain names.

We wish to emphasize that the legal proceedings against Unicaresoft have nothing whatsoever to do with the product supplied by this company. On the contrary, we recognize the enormous value of software products that aim to improve Internet security and to protect vulnerable groups.

Not only does Microsoft itself develop such software - in the form of, for example, Microsoft Live OneCare Family Safety - we also collaborate with various parties, including the government, to improve Internet security. One example of our efforts on this front is our participation in Digibewust, a public-private partnership that aims to improve digital awareness in the Netherlands.

Unicaresoft is, of course, free to state that its product is suitable for MSN - hence, without incorporating MSN in its product name; for, we firmly believe that, like Microsoft, Unicaresoft is striving for better Internet security.