ActiveWindows Forced To Alter Site By Microsoft

Established software news site ActiveWindows has been forced to change its name to ActiveWin after attorneys for Microsoft Corp. contacted the site and forced them to remove all Microsoft trademarks from the site. ActiveWin had been named ActiveWindows for almost two years until Microsoft required the changes.

Site administrators at ActiveWin speculated that their site may have been referred to the Microsoft legal department after a beta coordinator at Microsoft accused the site of posting screen shots of Microsoft’s Millennium beta, a charge that ActiveWin denies.

In a letter dated Nov. 2, 1999, Microsoft lawyers wrote, "Your use of the "WINDOWS" trademark and the Windows Flag Logo in the title of your "" web site has recently come to our attention. Enclosed is a copy of your web site's title page showing this use. We are writing to request that you correct this misuse of Microsoft's trademarks for "WINDOWS" and the Flag Logo and cease using "ActiveWindows" as a trade name and service mark." The letter continued, "As you may know, Microsoft has been using the trademark "WINDOWS" since 1983 in connection with its computer software products."

Initially, Microsoft lawyers demanded that ActiveWindows remove the Windows "flag" logo and change the name from "ActiveWindows" to "ActiveWin." ActiveWindows agreed to remove the trademark from the site, but continued to disagree about the name "Windows" in the site name.

Microsoft responded to the initial changes in another letter, which says, "A review of your web site confirms that Microsoft's Flag Logo has been removed. Thank you for your cooperation in making this change. We must also ask that your web site be revised to remove all prominent, trademark type references to "ACTIVEWINDOWS.""

Shortly thereafter, ActiveWindows decided to change the name to ActiveWin because they "[could not] compete with the money Microsoft has."

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