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OS-9 developer set to battle Apple's Mac OS 9

Microware alleges trademark infringement

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Apple's decision to call the next release of its operating system Mac OS 9 could see the company hauled through the US courts by a small real-time OS developer that has already trademarked its 'OS-9' product. Microware's OS-9 is aimed at embedded applications and, ironically enough, runs on the same Motorola 680x0 and PowerPC processors Apple has been using all these years. According to Apple-watching Web site AppleInsider, Microware has approached Apple and threatened the Mac maker with legal action if it continues with its plan to ship something called 'Mac OS 9'. Version 9 is due to ship in the Autumn, but was originally numbered version 8.7 -- that changed when it was decided to ship the update as a major new release of the software. Given Apple has been using that naming scheme since it eliminated the old 'System x' branding back in the post 7.5 days, it's unlikely to want to comply. And it appears that Microware lawyers are now preparing their suit against it. That said, since the original name for it was 'MacOS', not 'Mac OS' -- note the space, added more recently with version 8.5 of the OS -- it will be easy for Apple to fix the problem simply by returning to the older version of the nomenclature and claim there's no infringement of Microware's trademark. Equally, since 'OS-9' contains a dash, it could be argued it's not at all like 'OS 9' (no dash) and, again, Apple is safe. ®

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