A small design firm is suing Microsoft over the name “Bing” after claims that the Bing search engine is infringing on their trademark. Bing LLC has been running since 2000 and has a pending trademark application over the Bing name.
According to the lawsuit, Bing LLC claims that Microsoft’s Bing “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.”
With the Bing search engine being launched in 2009, there’s no doubt Microsoft would have done their research before deciding on the name. Trademark law does allow firms in different industries to use the same name, so I am not confident this case will have a huge amount of merit.
Here’s what Microsoft had to say, “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,”
Even if the suit doesn’t go ahead, it’s been a good link building exercise for the company, with several media sites now linking to their homepage!