Microsoft faces Vista trademark challenge

A French television executive said on Tuesday he had taken legal action against Microsoft for breaching his right to the trademark “Vista,” which the US software giant uses for its new operating system.

"A writ has been served in both France and the United States," Philippe Gildas, a former presenter on French cable telvision channel Canal+, told AFP.

Gildas accuses Microsoft of violating his intellectual property rights after he registered the trademark "Tele Vista" for use worldwide in March 2003.

The name is to be used for a new satellite and cable television channel that Gildas is to launch in the next few weeks in France.

Microsoft launched its new "Vista" operating system in January this year amid much glitz and fanfare.

The new operating system cost about 6.0 billion dollars to develop and was the first new Microsoft operating system since Windows XP in 2001.

According to US advertising industry magazine Ad Age, the global branding campaign for Vista cost Microsoft about 500 million dollars.

The online register of the French trademark office, the National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI), shows that Microsoft filed the trademark "Vista" in July 2005, two years after Gildas registered "Tele Vista."

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.

Gildas declined to give further details of his action on the advice of his lawyers, but said the legal process would be long.


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Microsoft faces Vista trademark challenge