back to article Unicaresoft loses MSNLock case against Microsoft

Microsoft has won its case against Dutch 46-year-old mother of three Carola Eppink, who wanted to restrict her children's use of the internet by using a self-made program she'd dubbed MSNLock. Microsoft sued her company Unicaresoft to prevent the letters MSN being used in the name of the product. Although the product name had …


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  1. Dominic Kua

    Government minister moonlights with Microsoft?

    "Microsoft country manager Jacqueline Smit"

    Whacky? Yes.

    Called Jacqui? Yes

    Dropping an h is not the best disguise, even Vampires in bad movies manage better than that.

    Coming soon, Gordie Brön, lead designer for Duke Nukem Forever.

    Mine's the one with the Millibrand spectral analyser.

  2. Andrew

    Remebering all those pesky pseudonyms

    "Jacqueline Smit"

    "Jacqui Smith"

    Coincidence? You decide...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Sounds like a good product.

    Wonder if its available in english

  4. Ash

    David and Goliath

    Errr... I seem to remember David winning that one with a stone from a sling... Not quite the metaphor you want.

    Anyway, it's not the trademark infringement they care about; it's the MS spokespersons' comment which hits the mark: "We offer similar products ourselves."

    Why 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish' when you can sue into liquidation?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    More evidence for the ongoing EU anti-competition investigation, then.

    >"We encourage products that help parents limit internet use of their children, we offer those products ourselves."

    Yes, and then you engage in blatantly anti-competitive lawsuits to shut out the competition, you convicted criminal monopolists. Dunno why the court stood for this cheap barratry, but hopefully the European Commission will take this into account when weighing their decision.

  6. Gordon Pryra

    If the Term MSN was in the Dutch dictionary

    During the trial,

    then the defense lawyer was pretty shite tbh

  7. Eddie

    Where google leads....

    Just to forestall the "Feck me, is there no depth to which microsoft will not stoop", google have issued cease and desist letters to a web site that collects neologisms for includeing the verb "to google" - apparently it must be lower case for the verb.

    Perhaps then, msnlock would have been okay.

  8. Andrew Johnson


    So, it's ok for to exist ?! because they add to MSN, but not MSNlock.

    Aren't people more likely to use MSN if they know that can fit parental control around it!

    I'll stick with Yahoo Messenger, at least Microsoft isn't getting involved there ;)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Appeal in a year

    When it is proved that Microsoft's pledge to act against all those other 'infringers' is cobblers.

  10. Test Man

    Re: Ridiculous

    Apart from the fact that there is MSN interoperability that is.

  11. Dick

    The Dutch version of the Oxford English Dictionary


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Dutch version...

    My thoughts exactly.

  13. James O'Brien
    Paris Hilton

    The Dutch Version?



  14. Stewart Rice
    Gates Horns

    Counting the days

    If Microsoft want MSN removed from the dictionary to prevent other businesses from using it, how long before they insist on the removale of Windows from the same dictionary.

    Hummm... the air is a bit stuffy in here. I'm going to open a *REMOVED PENDING LAWSUIT*

  15. Bob Gulien
    Paris Hilton

    @counting the days

    They tried to get "Windows" as a brandname years ago.

    They failed.

    @Dutch version: Van Dale is a dictionary in it's own right and not a version of the OED.

    Maybe the author wanted to compare it to something similar in English.

    PH - 'cause she has both in her library

  16. Alan Jenney

    It's not still called MSN Messenger, though, is it?

    All this talk of "MSN" relating to instant messaging and defending of Microsoft's branding of their IM client seems to be a bit pointless now.

    I'm not surprised that the Dutch firm have renamed the product - haven't Microsoft re-branded Messenger as "Windows Live Messenger" and dropped the association with the letters "MSN" altogether? Just like,

    MSN Search = Live Search,

    MSN Passport = Windows Live ID,

    MSN Hotmail = Windows Live Hotmail.

    Only the portal/service provision retains the MSN branding and that's not what the product was locking.

    Like the time that they tried to copyright the word "Windows", they've got just as little a chance with "Live".

  17. Martin Usher

    Famous Search Engine

    The "Feedback" page from the magazine "New Scientist" never uses the G-word for the same reason (they got some nastygram from corporate legal), they always describe it as "a famous search engine".

    If this MSN-thing happened to me the (renamed) code would go open-source so fast that it would make certain corporate heads swim.

    Its all about branding, so the way to stop branding in its tracks is never to use the brand name or any of the band logos.

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