Microsoft Sues EZ Computers for Copyright and Trademark Infringement

Hammond, Indiana – Intellectual property counsel for Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, WA, filed an infringement suit alleging John Sims as the principal of EZ Computers of Gary, IN, has knowingly infringed several trademarks and copyrighted works.

The plaintiff is a well-known computer software company which asserts numerous copyrights in its software that have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, including the following works: WINDOWS XP PRO, OFFICE 2003 PROFESSIONAL, OFFICE EXCEL 2003, OFFICE OUTLOOK 2003, OFFICE POWERPOINT 2003, OFFICE WORD 2003, and OFFICE ACCESS 2003. The plaintiff also owns and asserts several trademarks which have been registered with the U.S. Trademark Office in connection with software, including the following: Trademark Registration No. 1,200,236 for MICROSOFT; Trademark Registration No. 1,872,264 for WINDOWS; Trademark Registration No. 2,744,843 for COLORED FLAG DESIGN; and Trademark Registration No. 2,188,125 for OUTLOOK.

The defendant sells and installs computer hardware and software and is alleged to be distributing software which infringes the plaintiff’s copyrights and trademarks, including distribution of an infringing system to an investigator. The complaint states that, despite notifying the defendant, the infringement has continued, and the plaintiff seeks damages, imposition of a trust upon the defendant’s profits, and an injunction.

This case has been assigned to Judge William C. Lee and Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry in the Northern District of Indiana, and assigned case no. 2:10-cv-00092-WCL-PRC.

Practice Tip: The various aspects of computer software make it potentially eligible for several types of intellectual property protection: the literal text of the code is protected by copyright and could be considered a trade secret if properly maintained; the software’s novel and non-obvious functionality may be protectable under a utility patent; the product name, logo, and any other source-identifying indicia may serve as trademarks; and design patent protection, which covers the ornamental features of a functional item, may be available for the user interface (the “look and feel”), including icons.Complaint – Microsoft v. Sims

Further information about this case is as follows:

Filed: February 24, 2010 as 2:2010cv00092 Updated: March 24, 2010 13:02:07

Plaintiff: Microsoft Corporation

Defendant: John Sims

Presiding Judge:Judge William C Lee

Referring Judge:Magistrate Judge Paul R Cherry

Cause Of Action: Trademark Infringement

Court:

Seventh Circuit > Indiana > Northern District Court

Type:Intellectual Property > Trademark

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