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Fwd: COPY - The Island Formerly Known As Java

Zum allgemeinen amusement.


---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------
Date:        08.19.  21:58
Received:    08.23.  12:41
From:        FringeWare News Network, email@Fringeware.COM
Reply-To:    jim@hosaka.SmallWorks.COM
CC:          Jim Thompson, jim@hosaka.SmallWorks.COM

Sent from: Jim Thompson  <jim@hosaka.SmallWorks.COM>

> Forwarded-by: Berry Kercheval <kerch@parc.xerox.com>
> Forwarded-by: Alene Kercheval <ark@placeware.com>
> Forwarded-by: Glenn Meyer <glennm@wco.com>

Microsoft Trademarks the Trademark Symbol
	-- by Vince Sabio, HumourNet Communications, Ltd.

REDMOND, Wash (UPI) - Software and marketing giant Microsoft Corporation
(MSFT) announced today that it has purchased the rights to the well-known
"trademark" symbol, formerly denoted as "tm" in most print media.

The symbol is commonly used to identify commercial product names that have
not yet been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

"It was a natural," commented John Schexnader, of Microsoft's Ministry of
Information. "Several of us were sitting around after a board meeting a
few months ago, and we were talking about what we should buy next. We were
tossing around the idea of purchasing a country or two in South America,
as kind of a follow-up to Sun Microsystems' trademark-infringement claim
against The Island Formerly Known As Java, when it occurred to us that
there are no countries named 'ActiveX.' We talked about changing the name
of 'ActiveX' to 'Chile' or 'Brazil' -- which would also help distance it
>from all those recently-uncovered security holes -- when someone joked
that we'd save a lot of time and effort in the long run if we'd just
trademark the trademark symbol."

Schexnader continued, "At first, we all just laughed -- but one look at
Bill's face, and we knew we'd be on the phone with the Patent and
Trademark Office in the morning."

Microsoft hasn't wasted any time enforcing the new trademark.  According
Rue B. Goldberg, an attorney with Microsoft's Ministry of Litigation and
Law Enforcement, "Use of the 'tm' symbol will now be restricted to
Microsoft and its subsidiaries, like the Catholic Church."

But companies wishing to use the '(tm)' symbol will not be left out in
the cold; according to Goldberg, Microsoft has developed a new symbol,
'(tMS)', to replace the now-restricted '(tm)' symbol.

"Anyone will be able to use the new symbol, royalty-free," states
Goldberg, "though Microsoft reserves the right to charge for its use in
the future."

Response to the announcement was varied. An Apple Computer spokesman vowed
to take the issue to court, stating, "Apple Computer developed the
technology for the trademark symbol more than ten years ago," but refused
to give any details on the exact nature of the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Times-Mirror Publishing, Ziff-Davis, the L.A. Times, the N.Y.
Times, CNN, the Washington Post, Newsweek, and Kathy Lee Gifford all
agreed that it was a landmark move. According to William Spangler,
Electronics and Pet Food Editor for the Boston Globe, "[Microsoft's]
recent acquisition of the trademark symbol will benefit computer users
worldwide. It's a technological breakthrough. As always, the rest of the
computer industry is just struggling to play catch-up."

So, what does the future hold for Microsoft and its latest acquisition?
Microsoft Ministry of Information spokeswoman Alice Gilbert says that
Microsoft is moving quickly on similar purchases.  "Our next [acquisition]
will be the 'service mark' symbol. We already have the paperwork in place
for it." Gilbert stated that the new symbol would be 'sMS', following the
trend set by the new trademark symbol.

"It's a natural for us," concluded Gilbert. But apparently, the sky is
not the limit at Microsoft. "We'd also looked into acquiring the rights
to the 'registered' trademark symbol, but several representatives from
the Ministry of Technology determined that doing so would lead to an
infinite loop in the trademark registry -- and the only place where we
permit infinite loops is in our software. Our standards are very high here
at Microsoft."

But that fact has not deterred the software and marketing giant.
"Instead, we're looking into purchasing the entire Patent and Trademark
Office," stated Schexnader.

No one at the Patent and Trademark Office could be reached for comment.

Copyright 1997 by Vincent Sabio, HumourNet Communications Ltd. All 
Rights Reserved; permission is hereby granted to forward or post 
"Microsoft Trademarks the Trademark Symbol," provided that the by-line 
(above) and this copyright statement are included.

Jim Thompson / Smallworks, Inc. / jim@smallworks.com  
      512 338 0619 phone / 512 338 0625 fax
   "Hiroshima '45, Chernobyl '86, Windows '95"

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