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GoDaddy service : Should I go GoDaddy?? Does Microsoft own TM of their program file .extensions?

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Hi!.

I have an L-L-L which is a popular Microsoft program file extension, e.g.doc (just an example).

What are their rights to it? If my parked page shows MS Word related ads, can they take it away from me?.

Thanks!..

Comments (13)

Good question which I dont know the answer to but will watch this space. I would check http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm to see if MS have TM'd it and if they had, I would stay well away from parking anything to do with software.

Out of curiousity could you tell us what the extension is? I think it's wise not to write in full but you could try d - o - c etc..

Comment #1

I don't think MS can TM doc which is short for document which is the term used for well...a document. It's descriptive and general descriptions can't be TM'd. You can't TM the word car seller for being a car seller...

Comment #2

I hope youre right. I thought that you could register a TM like Car Seller for selling cars. Fabulous refused to park a generic .com of mine for just such a reason and I was really surprised when they gave me the reason...

Comment #3

Note: I'm not a lawyer.

Since the file extension was, in effect, created by the company out of many other possibilities, they do have some rights to it. Whether a company decides a particularly file suffix use threatens their trademarks, would be a judgment call by the company mostly depending on how closely the suffix is tied to their existing marks (whether registered or not) and/or corporate identity.

In short, they might go after you, and depending on the mechanism, I suppose legal action could go beyond just taking the name.

Probably unlikely to have any problems, but you could...

Comment #4

Thanks for answers, though it still isn't clear.

What if the extension is created by MS? Like X then L and S ?

Comment #5

What if he owns x dash l dash s , the extension for e-x-c-e-l...

Comment #6

To add to this, usage matters. IF you have e-x-l.com and are selling software, esp MS products, they could say the extension is being exploited for commercial gain. So they may not have a TM fo the extension, but you actions shows unfair practice and/or deceptive usage...

Comment #7

So if they suddenly didn't have anything better to do they could sue me for parking it?..

Comment #8

Absolutely, see this thread about mine and others concerns about parking http://www.namepros.com/legal-issues...ringe-tms.html..

Comment #9

Doctrine of Functionality -.

A trademark is a distinctive sign that indicates the source or origin of the goods. A trademark is not a functional feature of the goods.

This normally comes up in the context of trade dress and product configuration. For example, the hourglass Coke bottle shape operates as a mark. However, in litigation over mouthwash container shapes, it was found that the dumbell shapped Listerine bottle was functional because it allowed a better grip by people in bathrooms with wet hands (it's a really stupid decision).

Interestingly, Windows has moved to a default paradigm in which the file extensions are not displayed to the user (you can set the option either way). I would argue that file extensions are primarily functional, in that they signify the type of file for the purpose of allowing the operating system to associate the file with the relevant application software.

Now, whether the file extension characters are used in some other way as a mark is a separate question.

Let's take a hypothetical here:.

Suppose that AOL provides some kind of application software that uses a .aol file extension - say, stored chat log files or something for Instant MessYouUp.

As a file extension "aol" is functional. But AOL is still their mark as used for their services.

But if the file extension were, say ".imf" for "instant messenger file", and IMF were not otherwise being used as a mark, then it would simply be serving the function of signaling the opener application to the operating system, and would not be acting as a trade or service mark...

Comment #10

Devils advocate...

Using Excel as a specific example, the extension xls, could be argued was chosen because it "sounds" very similar to "excel" which is a MS TM. Could you see arguements from both sides here? just curious...

Comment #11

Just point the domain to ads not related to MS..

If you have doubts, I am sure MS will go after you sooner or later...

Comment #12

That's more along the lines of what I had suggested in the situation where there is some independent TM relevance.

So, no the file extension ".xls" is not itself a trademark of MS.

Yes, variants of "XL" are phonetically similar to MS mark "Excel" for spreadsheet software.

"XLS" is, however, a registered trademark for vegetable oil, fruited vegetable seeds, and aircraft.

Remarkably "EXPLORER XLS", which uses MS browser name and file extension for spreadsheets is a registered mark for....

....automobiles manufactured by Ford...

Comment #13


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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