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  • Microsoft sends cease and desist warnings to Store software publishers with “Windows” in their names

    Posted on February 12th, 2018 at 10:00 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I saw this over the weekend from Günter Born. He lists two specific apps that received “infringing app” notices, and many others apparently have been hit.

    One in particular stands out: Martin Geuß, who has been selling his Dr. Windows app for as long as Windows has had a store, got a notice. In case you don’t know, Martin Geuß is a Microsoft MVP of long standing, and one of the most helpful people on the internet.

    Even more stupid (that’s one of BillG’s favorite terms): The notice was received on Saturday, with the recipients expected to comply by Sunday.

    There’s one piece of wiggle room. Apparently the notification came from AppDetex, which “is authorized by Microsoft Corporation to facilitate the submission of and correspondence regarding complaints.” The complaint says the Dr. Windows app:

    uses the trademarks of Microsoft Corporation without authorization. In this instance, the app uses “Windows” in the title.

    I’ve long wondered at the way Microsoft has been granted a trademark for a common industry term. but I’m aghast at how it’s strong-arming even its most ardent supporters.

    I got bit by this same bit of stupidity almost three decades ago, when a Microsoft developer warned me that the MS legal folks were casting a malicious eye at the name “Word POWER Pack.” But that’s another story, for a different time.