Home Latest News Business owner in trademark dispute with Microsoft – BBC

Business owner in trademark dispute with Microsoft – BBC

A woman said she was "devastated" to be in a dispute with Microsoft over the name of her business that helps children with literacy.
Kate McKenzie, from Duston, Northampton, has created a tool called Word Windows.
She said nine days before the product was due to go to market she received a letter from Microsoft which stated it opposed her trademark.
Microsoft said it "cannot comment on ongoing legal matters".
Mrs McKenzie said she was inspired to create the tool, which can be placed on top of books, as she struggled with reading at school due to dyslexia – and her son was facing similar issues.
"It puts a little box around the word that you're trying to read and creates a window that can open and close to isolate it," she said.
"You can isolate the first letter of the word, a sound in the word, a prefix or a suffix.
"They can learn those letters very easily at school, but when they're suddenly put together in a word it can become much harder to see.
"Blocking everything out around it can make it easier for them."
Mrs McKenzie said she received a letter on 1 July from lawyers representing Microsoft.
"It was basically a threat of opposition against the trademark Word Windows," she said.
"They weren't happy about the trademark and they weren't happy about the company name."
Mrs McKenzie said she was unable to change the name as she had already spent money producing all the packaging and branding.
"I've been in negotiations with Microsoft to try and resolve the situation and demonstrate that I'm not trying to infringe on their product or services – I'm just trying to develop literacy levels in the UK."
Mrs McKenzie said it was surreal to be in a dispute with the global tech company.
"Although I was utterly devastated, my husband did see the funny side and said, 'Don't you think it's quite funny that the giant of Microsoft has found you in Duston?'."
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