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Microsoft sues over ‘cybersquatting’

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Two Texans are being sued by Microsoft over 'cybersquatting' - the registration of Internet domain names which it claims as its trademarks. The move by Gates' company is further evidence that the electronic frontier is slowly but surely being tamed. According to Microsoft's suit, the two have registered domain names relevant to several major companies, but the ones that concern Microsoft are microsoftwindows.com and microsoftoffice.com. The company says it offered Kurtis Karr and Kenny Brewer a small amount of money for the domains, but that this was rejected. Karr and Brewer are currently operating on the Web as launchbase.com, which appears to be a form of portal for a range of affiliated sites. These include wall-mart.com, which is labelled as unaffiliated to Wall-Mart, and busweek.com, which leads through to businessweek.com. In a written statement, Microsoft said that Karr and Brewer's "registration, offer to sell and use of these domain names is deliberately designed to be confusing to consumers and is a violation of federal and state trademark law." Microsoft wants damages, possession of the domain names and any associated profits. ®

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