Microsoft sued over Bing trademark

Bing screenshot

A small design firm from St Louis, Missouri, is set to take on Microsoft in a legal battle, accusing the technology giants of taking its name for its search engine.

Bing! Information Design launched the case in a local court claiming it has used the trademark "Bing!" yes, with the exclamation mark since 2000 and Microsoft's use of the name is damaging its brand.

The filing for the court case said: "[It causes] confusion with regard to the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant, confuses the public with regard to the origin of the plaintiff's services and dilutes the value of the plaintiff's trademark."

In addition to seeking damages, which could amount to millions of dollars, the design company wants Microsoft to "pay for corrective advertising to remedy the confusion it caused."

The David in this Goliath battle may face a tough battle as although Bing! Information Design claims to have used the name for nearly ten years, it only filed for the trademark back in May two days before the search engine was officially launched.

Microsoft on the other hand filed for the trademark in March to cover all its endeavours under the name.

A spokesperson from Microsoft told IT PRO: "We believe this suit to be without merit and we do not believe there is any confusion in the marketplace, but are aware of the suit based on media reports."

"Microsoft respects trademarks and other people's intellectual property, and it looks forward to the next steps in the judicial process."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.