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Microsoft buys Xbox name off true owner

Not for very much, we reckon

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Microsoft has bought the Xbox trademark off its original owner for undisclosed sum. The current incumbent, Xbox Technologies, will change its name.

Surprise, surprise.

Well, when Xbox Technologies' attempts to get money out of Microsoft emerged earlier this year, it was only a matter of time before the Beast of Redmond got its way. As a spokesman said at the time, "we will prevail".

It was never going to be much of a battle. Xbox Technologies is a Florida-based holding company for products acquired off little-known hi-tech companies (not that it has many) and has a market cap lower than Bill Gates' sock budget. Xbox Technologies has a single subsidiary, Knowledge Mechanics, run by its former CEO, John van Leeuwen. The parent is currently being run by an interim CEO and an interim CFO.

Interested investors can by stock at around 18 cents a pop. In the six months to 28 February, it lost $3.9 million on revenues of $946,000.

Yahoo! Finance notes the company has a Management Effectiveness rating of -381.36 per cent based on return on assets.

The loss-making company was most recently known as Nicollet Process Engineering, Inc, and "designs, manufactures, markets, and supports monitoring and control systems, host level client/server software, and machine diagnostic tools for the die casting and plastic injection molding industries". Now it's going to have to change its name again...

Xbox Technologies registered 'Xbox' as a trademark back in March 1999. Microsoft didn't try to do so until October 1999, but has still managed to add a little 'TM' sign to ever mention of the word it has ever made. Now it has the right to do so. ®

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