A St. Louis company Bing! Information Design filed suit this week against Microsoft for alleged trademark infringement and unfair competition, over Microsoft’s used of the term “Bing” as its new search engine.
Bing! Information Design is a small, privately held information graphics and multimedia design company and use’s bing.biz at its web address.
The company says it has used the mark “Bing!” since at least 2000 and has applications pending to register the mark.
Bing! Information Design claims that the new search engine’s name causes confusion and dilutes the value of its trademark.
Kevin Kutz, a spokesman for Microsoft, said:
“We believe this suit to be without merit and we do not believe there is any confusion in the marketplace with regard to the complainant’s offerings and Microsoft’s Bing”
“We respect trademarks and other people’s intellectual property, and look forward to the next steps in the judicial process.”
The suit seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages, including having Microsoft pay for corrective advertising to remedy the confusion it allegedly caused.
“For nearly 10 years my client has been using the Bing! mark,” said the attorney representing the St. Louis company.
“My client selected this unique mark to distinguish itself in the marketplace and invested substantial time and effort promoting its business using Bing!. Microsoft’s use of the identical mark and its aggressive advertising have gutted all of my client’s efforts to distinguish its business and created confusion that must be remedied.”
Fortunately for Microsoft none of those quick take down procedures are in place in for WIPO’s or UDRP’s, otherwise who knows, the St. Louis company may have went that route instead of filing suit and A one panel decision might just have awarded the domain Bing.com to the St. Louis Company before Microsoft got any notice or a right to defend itself.
If you want to download a copy of the lawsuit click here.