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Redmond, Washington based Vista, Inc – a custom software developer and e-commerce solutions provider, said in a recent news article it is considering all options against Windows creator Microsoft Incorporated.

Microsoft, which is also based in Redmond, said it does not feel it has violated any copyrights.

“The name Vista is commonly used by a variety of companies in a variety of industries, said Microsoft spokesperson Stacy Drake in a statement to Daniweb IT News. “We are only using of the word Vista paired with our trademark Windows. The two together – ‘Windows Vista’ – form the name of the next version of the Windows operating system.

Windows Vista, which is slated to be the next major released of the Window’s operating system and the flagship of Microsoft products, was distributed yesterday in a limited release beta for IT professionals and developers.

According to the Seattle Times Article, Vista Incorporated founder John Wall said, “We're going to consider our options and talk to them.

Wall did not return phone calls requesting a comment.

Windows Vista is planned to be released sometime in 2006, and was announced in late July at a staff meeting in Atlanta. Previous to being called Windows Vista, the software was known only as codename Longhorn.

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Drake also added the following information:

"We conducted a thorough search to ensure the Windows Vista mark would not infringe on the marks of others."

"We have filed for a trademark for the name Windows Vista in over 100 countries."

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Just another cheap shot by someone with a probably failing company to make a quick buck out of the company name before folding or selling the operation?
Is there in fact any word that isn't yet in use by someone somewhere for something?

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Well I would normally tend to agree with you -- but look at the circumstances.

Both are based in Redmond, Washington. Both make software for small to medium sized businesses, and both use the name Vista.

Clearly, people looking for Vista may go to Vista.com, thinking its the same as Microsoft.

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It seems to me that this isn't much different from Microsoft suing Lindows on the grounds that the name "sounds too much like" Windows. I think the foundation of MS's case was that consumers might be confused over the similarities in the name, they also argued that Lindows was illegally capitalizing on the Windows name. In the first case, I think Vista has a similar case; in the latter, I don't think Vista could realistically claim that MS would be capitalizing on their company name.

Still, it's a touchy issue and I'd like to see how it finally shakes out.

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You are correct in that they will probably gain a LOT more exposure, but if they have developed their brand and have done heavy advertising in trade magazines, etc, they don't want Microsoft to change the meaning.

If I started up Microsoft Foods, and ran TV spots all over the country with the name, it might start to change the meaning of the word.

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Microsoft sued Lindows over their product name, not primarilly the company name.
Anyway, Lindows the company produced a directly competing product to the one they were deliberately stealing the name of.
This case is quite different in that the products aren't competing at all.

When Fiat released a car called the Croma onto the Dutch market there was no outcry from a major food manufacturer here who was marketing a brand of butter under that name.

Turned out Fiat chose the name poorly though (but for no legal reasons). The butter was marketed as non-sizzling (thus no problem with getting splashed with hot butter) leading to many people to conclude "Fiat Croma, doesn't sizzle" which hurt sales rather badly at the time :)

There's a demarcation issue here. At which point does using a name for one thing infringe on the meaning of that same word in another context.
Clearly Microsoft lawyers concluded that in this case there are no problems, and I tend to agree with them.
Not only is the other trademark a company name instead of a version name for a product (not even a product name in its own right), but that company doesn't even create a product which competes with Windows.

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Yeah, J, I think I see the point. You're saying MS had a valid suit because the name of the PRODUCT was the same as (or at least too similar to) the name of MS's PRODUCT, and in this case, it's the name of an ENTITY versus the name of a PRODUCT, right?
I'm still not sure I see the legal dfference, though. Is it legal for me to name a product after the name of a company, especially if that company is in the same industry? I don't know. Then again, the PRODUCT in this case is called Windows, the "Vista" is something of a model, or version designation.
That's why I say, I'm not sure how it's all going to turn out; it'll be interesting to see how it all comes down.

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Added Note:
As I was on my way home from work the day of my last post, I stopped at a fast food drive-through. The little electronic screen that displays my order was made by a company called "Delphi".
That got me wondering; Would Borland consider suing this company for using that name, or would the company sue Borland for giving one of their products that name?

...just thought that was an interesting thing...

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The word VISTA is in the english language.. surely anyone is free to use it as the please? things like XP aren't the same... not english!

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