Info-tech

Microsoft faces trademark dispute in Ahmedabad

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on March 18, 2020 Published on March 18, 2020

The suit seeks to restrain Microsoft from using the mark Azure, Microsoft Azure, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Cloud For All, Azure Sphere, Azure Brain Wave, and other identical names   -  Bloomberg

IT player Azure Knowledge Corporation files civil suit challenging use of brandname ‘Azure’ by the software major

Global software behemoth Microsoft Corporation and its Indian arm, Microsoft India, are facing a trademark infringement case filed by Ahmedabad-based data research and analysis player Azure Knowledge Corporation.

The civil suit, filed last month at the City Civil Court here, is about the conflict over the brand name ‘Azure’. The Ahmedabad player claims to be using it as a trademark for its various businesses since 1996, whereas Microsoft has been selling its cloud services platform in India under the brand name Azure since 2014.

Co-founded by a city-based entrepreneur, Azure Knowledge Corporation is also present in multiple countries including the US. It claims to have got its word mark and label mark registered in 1998 with its user date from 1996. Microsoft, on the other hand, introduced the mark Azure in India only in 2014.

Next hearing on April 18

The city civil court issued notices to the defendants on February 10, with the next date of hearing for the matter fixed for April 18.

Meanwhile, Azure Knowledge has also raised the matter with an international forum by filing a petition with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). It has sought cancellation of registration for Windows Azure, which Microsoft uses for its cloud service products.

The suit also claims that Azure Knowledge has spent a substantial amount in promoting and marketing its Azure mark and the logo over the years, and has acquired reputation and goodwill in the market. It further prays to the court that a multinational giant like Microsoft “should not be allowed to force” a locally grown company to surrender its legal and statutory rights.

Azure Knowledge has also prayed to the court to prevent Microsoft from attempting a hostile takeover of the brand and mark.

Microsoft declined to respond to queries, citing the matter being sub-judice.

The suit seeks to restrain Microsoft from using the mark Azure, Microsoft Azure, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Cloud For All, Azure Sphere, Azure Brain Wave, and other identical names. It also seeks to restrain Microsoft from using the domain name www.azure.microsoft.com and for the rendition of accounts of profit allegedly “illegally earned” by using the trademark ‘Azure’.

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Published on March 18, 2020
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