Microware to Appeal Apple OS-9 Trademark Suit

SAN FRANCISCO (03/30/2000) - Microware Systems Corp. said today it plans to appeal a U.S. District Court ruling from earlier this month allowing Apple Computer Inc. to continue using Microware's registered trademark OS-9.

In a statement issued today, Microware said it received federal trademark registration for OS-9 in 1989, and was subsequently granted "incontestable status" for the registration. Apple didn't start using "Mac OS 9" until last year, according to Microware.

The Des Moines, Iowa-based embedded operating system vendor sued Apple in September of last year over the alleged trademark infringement in the U.S.

District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The court issued a summary judgement earlier this month that dismissed Microware's claim under the "fair use" doctrine. [See "Court Dismisses Microware Suit Against Apple," March 17.]"Fair use permits others to use a protected (trade)mark to describe aspects of their own goods, provided the use is in good faith and not as a (trade)mark," U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt wrote in his March 17 ruling.

Microware's OS 9 is the trademark for the company's real-time embedded operating system software licensed to equipment manufacturers and used to run cellular telephones and other wireless communications devices. Apple's Mac OS 9 is the latest release of the vendor's Macintosh desktop operating system.

In his ruling, the judge said there was little chance consumers would mistake one product for the other because the operating systems are sold in different markets.

Separately, Microware announced yesterday it has hired a new chief accounting officer, Beth Law, effective immediately. Law was previously accounting manager at systems integration company Network Six Inc. of Warwick, Rhode Island.

Microware's shares on the Nasdaq exchange closed today at US$8.25, down 84 cents from the previous day's trading.

Apple Computer Corp., in Cupertino, California, can be reached at +1-408-996-1010 or at http://www.apple.com/. Microware is at +1-515-223-8000 or at http://www.microware.com/.

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