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September 3th, 1999

[12:30 PM]
The Tables Turn As Apple Finds Itself Sued For Trademark Infringement
The Register (UK) is reporting that Apple is being sued by Des Moines, Iowa-based Microware. Microware makes an embedded processor operating system called OS 9. There lawsuit will reportedly cease to stop Apple from using the moniker OS 9 for the next release of the MacOS, code named Sonata. Apple has referred to Sonata as OS 9 since the MACWORLD Expo keynote address. According to the Register:

OS-9 a Unix-derived operating system aimed at the embedded market and has been Microware's flagship product since the company was formed back in the mid to late 70s. It was originally released on the Motorola 6800 CPU family and, like the Mac OS, now operates on the PowerPC processor, among others.

The Mac Observer Spin: Just like Apple, Microware must protect their trademarks from infringement. With this in mind, it is somewhat surprising that Apple has chosen the name OS 9.

That said: One key aspect of a trademark infringement suit is whether the infringing product is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace. It is possible that Apple could prove that a consumer OS could not possibly be confused with an embedded processor OS. The maker of a device with an embedded processor is not going to go shopping for an operating system and mistakenly pick up a box o' MacOS 9.

Still, in the same way that we have supported Apple's pursuit of the iMac clones, we also support Microware's right to protect their property. Our guess is that this will be worked out in a settlement or agreement of some sort.

Microware - Apple



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