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Apple defeats ‘OS 9’ trademark suit

MacOS 9 protected by 'fair use' rule

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An attempt to force Apple to drop the 'OS 9' from its MacOS 9 operating system was chucked out of court on Friday. Veteran OS developer Microware Systems brought the case after MacOS 9 was released last autumn. Microware offers an operating system of its own called OS-9, and has done for years. It claimed Apple had infringed its trademark. Not so, said the US District Court. Apple's use of MacOS 9 was permissible under the principle of 'fair use', presumably since it refers to the OS' version number and not its name. In any case, MacOS 9 and OS-9, despite the fact they both run on the PowerPC processor, are aimed at very different markets: consumer and mainstream computing, and embedded applications, respectively. So there's little or no chance that buyers of one would confuse it with the other. ®

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