Help! Microsoft is threatining to Sue Me

Long story short.

I run site :
My name is in fact: Mike
My site hosts files, almost all Video Card related (drivers, etc)

I have just recieved a notice from a Legal firm that their client Microsoft is accusing me of diliberalty misleading the public to believe my site is part of or assoisiated with them.

I’m trying to get a lawyer to fight this, but I just don’t understand their agruement. From reading the book they sent me, it looks like they just want the domain name, as that is one of there demands to avoid going to court.

I mean it is a personal website, I don’t make ANY money or anything, I just pay for it.

This sucks,

If ANYONE has any advice I would love to hear it. I have until the 12th of Jan to respond… I only got the letter on the 7th.



Change name to “Billsgate 2software”?/gs. :bigsmile: :bigsmile:

This sucks … maybe Philamber has an idea.

In addition to trade-mark infringement, passing off, depreciation of goodwill, bad faith domain name registration and the tort of interference with economic interests, your actions constitute a breach of Section 7(b) of the Trade-marks Act which provides:
7. No person shall
(b) direct public attention to his wares, services, or business in such
a way as to cause or be likely to cause confusion in Canada, at the time he commenced so to direct attention to them, between his wares, services or business and the wares, services or business or another.


Let’s do a nice whois search on the mikerosoft domains currently available :


Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Rouleau, Mike (MR535)
H.Y. Louie Co. Ltd.

Mike Rushton

Registrar Name…:
Registrar Whois…:
Registrar Homepage:


Domain ID: D1268098-BIZ
Sponsoring Registrar: DOTSTER
Domain Status: ok
Registrant ID: DOTC-XDKPAM
Registrant Name: Michael Beltrami
Registrant Address1: 160 Kelly St.
Registrant City: Elk Grove Village

Domain ID:D1629770-LRMS
Created On:26-Mar-2002 01:42:04 UTC
Expiration Date:26-Mar-2004 01:42:04 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:R140-LRMS
Registrant ID:C2131468-LRMS
Registrant Name:Michael Price
Registrant Organization:Michael Price

Whoa… wait a minute… Microsoft has a problem with , but stays away from :

Very very weird…

This is the culprit : likely to cause confusion in Canada

The thing is now… who has gotta prove if confuses people with You , or Microsoft ?

My advice ?

Buy one of the following (still available !) domains : (recommended. Tuvalu island has little internet laws :slight_smile: :slight_smile: )

Then transfer your web content to this domain , and change the index.html of to a nice big “Taken over by corporate idiots” banner.

And make sure a gazillion (online and offline) journalists/media/newspapers know about this stupid thing.

They tried a similar thing to a salesman in the Netherlands (he sold lindows if i am correct). They wanted to sue him till he informed the newspaper. Even American newspaper called him and soon MS stopped with the threats

Oh yes, all power to the media :slight_smile:

You should try and get the word out where ever you can. The media and the public are indeed powerful.


Well the news is on The Inquirers site now. I speak with a lawyer tomorrow, hopefully they can give me some sound advice.


Many companies just threatens but do not really want to take it to court (althoug MS isnt a normal company so be careful) , try to bend your borders and see, if they really want to go to court.
Stand up for yourself (as far as you can)

I suspect that your lawyer will tell you something like the following:

  1. The basis of the evil empire’s complaint is that because of the similarities in names you are passing off (representing) your site as being associated or affiliated with or endorsed by the evil empire.

  2. The complaint has little substance both because you aren’t conducting a business and because even a reasonably intelligent 4 year old would realise that there isn’t any connection between your site and the evil empire. (Of course, since most people are neither 4 years old nor reasonably intelligent, the latter point may not be perfect. :wink: :bigsmile: )

  3. The fact that Microsoft’s case isn’t very strong isn’t likely to stop them from suing you. They will happily use a sledgehammer (litigation) to crack a nut (you). They won’t particularly care whether or not they win the case. The idea is to bankrupt you with the costs of fighting the case or at least wear you down to the point where you just give up. Winning such a case for them if it runs to conclusion is just a bonus.

  4. Even though you live in a country where costs are awarded to a successful litigant, if you fight the case and win you will not get all of your costs back. You will only get back between 60% and 80% (generally it’s closer to 60% than 80% btw) of your costs if you win as Microsoft’s case is not so ridiculous that an order for payment of full indemnity costs would be made.

  5. In any case, in litigation, nothing is certain (i.e. the evil empire might win and then you would be required to pay 60 - 80% of their costs :eek: ).

  6. If by marshalling public opinion against Microsoft’s overbearing attitude (excellent suggestions by Mr.B and dd :bow: ) you can’t “persuade” Microsoft to back off, then, unless you have very deep pockets or a bunch of lawyer m8s expert in the area who are willing to run the case for you pro bono (i.e. free) you have a lot of spare time on your hands to fight the case and you’re prepared to risk the costs of losing, you’d better change the name of your site to something that isn’t going to irritate the evil empire.

  7. If you do choose to change your site’s name, you should, of course, inform Microsoft of that fact but this should be done together with a denial of any wrongdoing and of any liability. Given that you aren’t running a business, in all probability, Microsoft won’t pursue the matter and will get off your back.

Originally posted by oglsmm
[B]Well the news is on The Inquirers site now. I speak with a lawyer tomorrow, hopefully they can give me some sound advice.

oglsmm [/B]

The Inquirer ? What about CNN, Slashdot , Washington Post , etc. etc. ? And where are the weblinks. If you want people fighting your cause (which is the cheapest labour in this part of the known universe ! hint hint !) you gotta make it easy to them.

You gotta play the market of course. Tell them your pet hamster ran away because you were sued by Microsoft. And your 15 children won’t see you no more.

One of the coolest thing to do is to scan the original letter and post it everywhere… and do i mean everywhere.

Bought a backup domain yet ?

hehe I have tried slashdot but never heard back from them.

I have moved the sit now, so it redirects… Anyways I have posted so of the current status on the site.

I’m not really sure how to get it into the mainstream media…


Damn corperate bullies! :a

submit it to humor news sites, see if it gets picked up by mainstream media. i’ve seen fake news from end up on nationally shown television shows.

if you need ideas on how to deal with people that threaten to sue you, i suggest you look at how works.

also, you’ve had the site nearly 2 years. ytf did they pick now.

Mikerosoft X-tremly P-ublic
Posted on Monday, January 19, 2004
at 9:20 AM by Driver 7 - 5 Comments

JUST WEEKS after the Microsoft Corporation hammered a chap who had a site called, the lawyers at the corporation are at it again. reports that Mike Rowe, who registered the domain name last year, has had a letter from the same set of Canadian pleaders that bothered the man, the weirdly named Smart & Biggar.

According to Greplaw, Rowe was accused of infringing copyright, and wrote back asking the Vole to compensate him for surrending his own name.

The Vole offered him $10. The 17-year old wants a little more!

Source: The Inquirer

Yesterday Techdirt had this to say.

Microsoft is accusing him of holding the domain hostage to try to get money out of Microsoft. I read the story a few times before I actually believed it. Even the name of the Microsoft law firm involved in this case (Smart & Biggar) made me wonder if it’s all a big hoax - but it all seems real enough. Before the legal beagles chip in with the point that Microsoft needs to do this to protect their trademark.

And as ToshiroOC Pointed out in the DH forum, Mike also made the headlines here in Vancouver when newspapers, like The Province and The Victoria Times covered his story.

found this on the driverheaven webside

someone started and the evil empire got on them too. but apparently, he has only had it for about 4 months, and he started it solely because it sounded like the ms.

this guy made fark and /. :stuck_out_tongue:

i love it

an other one

in german…sorry

“MikeRoweSoft”: Microsoft setzt Anwälte gegen 17-Jährigen ein
Mike Rowe ist 17 Jahre alt und Student in British Columbia, Kanada. Seine Internetsite meldete er mit dem Domainnamen ‘MikeRoweSoft’ an. Microsoft fand dies nicht belustigend, was für den Studenten Post von den Rechtsanwälten der Firma bedeutete.
Zunächst erhielt er eine E-Mail von Smart & Biggar, den kanadischen Rechtsvertretern von Microsoft, deren Inhalt im Vorwurf eines Copyright-Verstoßes, sowie einer Übertragungsaufforderung dieser Domain an Microsoft bestand.
Die Ablehnung dieser Aufforderung brachte ihm wenige Tage später ein 25-seitiges Schreiben der Anwälte, in dem ihm unter anderem vorgeworfen wurde, dass er beabsichtige, Geld durch den Verkauf der Domain zu erzielen. Der Student dementiert dies.

Different domain (, same story:

Guess they are really chasing domain names

the one is all the same domain, and the kid admitted he started it because it sounded like microsoft. he’ll be lucky to get his 10 $.