Microsoft is suing Amish Shah, Jay Styles and two companies (the creators of the Magic Bullet System guru product) for using Microsoft trademarks and cybersquatting on Microsoft trademarks. And for contributory infringement.
This should send an epic shockwave through the “guru” ranks – The lawsuit talks about contributory trademark infringement and contributory cybersquatting. That means helping or motivating SOMEONE ELSE to do trademark infringement or cybersquatting. Microsoft is saying that not only did these guys do the dirty, they encouraged other people to do it too.
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog posted court documents relating to Washington at Seattle case C10-0653 RSM. This suit has been going on for a while – If you look at the title of the court document, it says “Denying Defendant Amended Motion to Dismiss”. PDF File for your enjoyment here:
AFAIK civil cases are public records in the US, so this should be a fun read for quite some time to come.
You can find all the dirty online if you know where to look.
Defendants allegedly providing instructions and their alleged sales
of a method known as the “Magic Bullet System,” which is meant to teach buyers how to use Microsoft marks in order to sell the emoticon-related software
I had seen this idea in one of the intro videos to the Magic Bullet System. I actually thought the trick was clever – Though not my style.
Their system or idea was this:
On that website they would offer the MSN Messenger for download and soft-bundle it with a smilies toolbar. The smilies were a CPA offer pulled from some network. I think the pitch was to tell people “Now that you got the toolbar, here are the Super-Mega-Dopey Similies” or something like Step 1- Get Messenger, Step 2- Get Smilies.
Now you have the idea… You could do this with something that isn’t trademarked, or at least be a little more careful about your pick of domain names and such so you’re not next in line.
ADHD Summary (idea shamelessly stolen from Mr. Green):
1 – Hide yo launches, MSFT be suing everybody out here
2 – Don’t fuck with Microsoft
3 – Guru shit will get you fucked by Microsoft