Microsoft sues Qld technician over Windows trademark

Australian subsidiary alleges data recovery technician claimed products were made by Microsoft

Microsoft Australia has commenced legal proceedings against a Queensland-based data recovery technician, alleging infringement of its trademark on the Windows brand name.

In a statement of claim from the software giant, sighted by Computerworld Australia, the Australian subsidiary claimed Nathan Short had registered for the websites windowssupervisor.com and windowsfamilysafety.com in 2005 and 2007 respectively.

The use of the word 'Windows' in the names of the site and the products sold online constituted infringement of Fair Trading Act 1999 (Qld) and Australian Consumer Law (Qld), according to the statement of claim.

Microsoft has held the trademark in Australia since 1986, when the Windows operating system and affiliated products were first sold locally.

Microsoft Australia also alleged Short - who runs a data recovery service in Boondall, Queensland - had claimed the products sold on the websites were made by Microsoft and that he had profited from the trademark infringement.

The company has pleaded loss and damage as a result of the infringement, and has called for the cessation of the actions by Short.

The proceedings were brought forward to presiding Federal Court judge, Justice Margaret Stone, on 10 February for a first directions hearing and the case is scheduled to resume on 10 March.

At time of writing, one of the registered sites - windowssupervisor.com - remained active but redirected to a news site about Microsoft’s Windows products. The other, windowsfamilysafety.com, timed out. Both had been registered through a United States-based proxy company via the GoDaddy net registry.

Follow James Hutchinson on Twitter: @j_hutch

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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