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
80,259 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

Acer Aspire R11 review: Hands-on with the 360 laptop and tablet convertible

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch release day: Twitter reacts

IDG UK Sites

See how Framestore created a shape-shifting, oil and metal based creature for Shell

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch buying guide, price list & where to buy today: Which Apple Watch model, size, material,?......