Fun_People Archive
11 Jan
Microsoft Clarifies Trademark Policies

Date: Wed, 11 Jan 95 18:15:42 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Microsoft Clarifies Trademark Policies

Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: (Guy Harris)
Forwarded-By: "David Geller (421)" <>

                Microsoft Clarifies Trademark Policies

REDMOND, Washington--January 4, 1995--In response to customer inquiries,
Microsoft today clarified the naming policy for Bob(tm), its new
software product designed for computer beginners.  Contrary to rumors,
Microsoft will not demand that all persons formerly named "Bob"
immediately select new first names.

    "I don't know where these rumors come from," commented Steve Balmer,
Microsoft Executive Vice President for Worldwide Sales and Support. 
"It's ridiculous to think Microsoft would force people outside the
computer industry to change their names.  We won't, and our licensing
policies for people within the industry will be so reasonable that the
Justice Department could never question them."

    Balmer said employees of other computer companies will be given the
opportunity to select new names, and will also be offered a licensing
option allowing them to continue using their former names at very low

    The new licensing program, called Microsoft TrueName(tm), offers
persons who want to continue being known by the name Bob the option of
doing so, with the payment of a small monthly licensing fee and upon
signing a release form promising never to use OpenDoc.  As an added
bonus, Bob name licensees will also be authorized to display the Windows
95 logo on their bodies.

    Persons choosing not to license the Bob name will be given a 60-day
grace period during which they can select another related name.  "We're
being very lenient in our enforcement of the Bob trademark," said Bill
Newkom, Microsoft's Senior Vice President of Law and Corporate Affairs. 
"People are still free to call themselves Robert, Robby, or even Rob. 
Bobby however is derivative of Microsoft's trademark and obviously can't
be allowed."

    Microsoft also announced today that Bob(tm) Harbold, its Executive
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has become the first
Microsoft TrueName licensee and will have the Windows 95 logo tattooed
to his forehead.

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []