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Microsoft Sues Google For OS Color Infringement
WILMINGTON, Del. (CAP) - Lawyers for Microsoft, Inc. have filed a lawsuit in U.S. district court in Delaware against search giant Google, claiming the company's new Chrome OS infringes on its own Windows logo color scheme. The 48-page complaint alleges wilful intent, a charge that brings higher damages - to the tune of $54.9 million.
"Microsoft built Windows with 32 million colors, and it just so happens that Google chose the exact same four colors for its operating system logo as the Windows logo?" said Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith. "That's not coincidence; that's theft.
"And believe you me, Microsoft knows a thing or two about theft," Smith added.
Google recently created shockwaves around the Internet after announcing that the company was working on creation of a new operating system modeled after its Chrome web browser. Microsoft officials hope a successful lawsuit will send Google back to the drawing board to come up with a new logo.
"And they better not use MS Paint to make it, either, or we'll sue 'em for that, too," said an unnamed Microsoft source.
According to law experts, whether or not Microsoft can successfully sue Google for using colors that appear naturally in the environment hinges largely on the U.S. Patent Office's approval of the Redmond-based company's pending application to patent the four colors appearing together as a single entity. Pundits say history is on Microsoft's side.
"There's a reason Apple's native logo is just plain old silver," said Yale law professor Amanda Reagan. "In Microsoft v Competitor #126, the court forced Apple to load its beautifully colorful logo into Photoshop and desaturate it 80%.
"Google will be lucky if they come out of this with a black circle," Reagan noted.
For their part, Google officials seem unfazed by the prospect of a lawsuit, calling it a challenge and "something to do with that extra $30 million we made last quarter." Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he fully anticipates this will be yet another in a long line of Google successes that includes their search-based dating service, their purchase of the Earth, and the toasting capabilities of their new browser.
"As we like to say around the Google offices - Bing it on," said Schmidt.
However, Reagan warns that Microsoft's move opens the door to similar lawsuits, such as the ones filed by Jakks Pacific, makers of the Poke Ball, and Milton Bradley, creator of the '80s memory game Simon.
- CAP News Staff
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