We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
79,812 News Articles

Microsoft sued over Windows Vista name

French TV presenter 'owns Vista'

A French television presenter has sued Microsoft for "violation of intellectual property". Philippe Gildas accused the software publisher of illegally using the trademark "Vista".

Gildas registered the Vista in October 2003. This was two years before Microsoft registered its Windows Vista trademark with the INPI (French National Institute for Intellectual Property).

Windows Vista - the definitive review

Philippe Gildas had registered the Vista trademark for a television channel aimed at senior citizens, Télé Vista, which was to have launched in 2003. The Télé Vista project was delayed, but is now coming to fruition, with plans to launch the channel later this year.

Gildas sees Microsoft's hogging of the limelight with its new Vista operating system as an obstacle to that launch, and so he decided to sue, arguing that he registered the Vista trademark "in all entertainment and media categories: press, television, web and so on."

Mac, Windows or Linux - what will you next operating system be?

As in other jurisdictions, French trademark law recognises rights to the use of trademark only in certain categories of activity, allowing, say, a baker of baguettes, an onion-selling cyclist and a maker of berets to use the same trademark in their respective domains.

Gildas has indeed registered the Vista trademark in categories 35, 38 and 41, which covers the entertainment and media categories he cited. However, he did not register it in categories 9 and 42, covering software and the design and development of computers and software, the areas relevant to Microsoft's operating system. Given that the trademarks registered by Gildas and Microsoft are in different categories, it may be difficult for him to argue his case.


IDG UK Sites

45 Best Android games: top Android games for your smartphone or tablet in 2014 (24 are free!)

IDG UK Sites

How Apple, Adobe, Microsoft and others have let us down over UltraHD and hiDPI screens

IDG UK Sites

Do you have the X-Factor too? Mix Off app puts fans in the frame

IDG UK Sites

iPad Pro release date, rumours and leaked images - 12.9 screen 'coming in 2015'