Microsoft is a US multinational tech corporation specializing in producing consumer electronics, PCs, and computer software. They are one of the biggest names in tech. Almost everyone has heard of them. The best-known software includes the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems and the software that comes alongside it, such as Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and Edge.
They offer more than just software, though. Flagship hardware products include the Xbox line of game consoles and the Microsoft Surface touchscreen PCs. Microsoft earned a top spot in the 2020 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest US corporations (by total revenue), coming in at 21. By revenue, Microsoft was the biggest software maker. It’s one of the big five IT companies alongside Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Google.
Paul Allen and Bill Gates founded Microsoft in April of 1975 to provide basic interpreters for the Altair 8800. However, with MS-DOS, the company began to dominate the OS market in the 1980s. Microsoft Windows would solidify Microsoft’s place as king of the tech world.
Microsoft has also made several famous, multi-billion dollar acquisitions, including Skype and Linkedin.
As of 2020, Microsoft held the third-highest global brand value.
Famous Microsoft trademarks
Very few company names even come close to the Microsoft corporation, so it won’t surprise anyone to learn that they have hundreds of registered trademarks. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Microsoft trademarks.
The Microsoft brand name has millions – if not billions – of dollars of value wrapped up in it. It was first registered in 1979, following its first use in 1975. The wordmark ‘Microsoft’ is registered for use in the following categories:
- Computer programming services
- Computer programs
- Computer hardware and software manuals
- Newsletter featuring information about computer hardware and software and general information relating to computers for manufacturers, distributors, and users of computers and computer software
- Providing information in multiple fields, including sports, travel, music, movies, news, etc.
- Arranging and conducting trade shows and seminars featuring computers, computer software, and computer software-related products
- Telecommunication services, namely, the receipt and delivery of messages, documents, images, and other data by electronic transmission; electronic mail services; providing bulletin board services and chat services using global communication networks
Related: Can you trademark software?
Microsoft owns Minecraft after a 2.5 billion acquisition deal in 2014. Microsoft acquired all intellectual property associated with Minecraft as part of the deal.
The trademark for Minecraft name covers the following categories:
- Computer software, including video game software
- Jewelry and accessories
- Printed matter, including books, brochures, and more
- Prepaid debit and gift cards
- Stationery, including paper and notepads
- Greeting cards
- Beer mats and novel items
- Leather articles, including bags and purses
- Clothing including trousers, shoes, and shirts for men, women, and children
- Games and playthings, including dolls and other apparel
- Toy jewelry and clocks
- Paper figurines and doll accessories
- Online retail store services
- Online social networking including personal and social services rendered to meet the needs of individuals
Windows Excel is a spreadsheet program designed for use with windows, though it is also compatible with iOS and Android. The trademark for excel was first registered in 2010 and applies to the following:
- Cloud computing, including software for accessing and editing spreadsheets remotely
MSN, or “Microsoft Network”, is one of the largest communication entities and has been for more than a decade. The first use in e-commerce was recorded in 1995, though the trademark has been registered and expanded several times since. The trademark includes:
- Computer hardware and peripherals
- Computerized online services, including retail services
- The sale of books, computers, cars, clothing, groceries, toys, electronics, sports and outdoor equipment, home appliances, home improvement, etc.
- Providing information including real estate, travel, finance, movies, nutrition, and more
- Chatting and online social networking
- Blogs and online journals
- Advertising and billing
Windows Vista was an operating system launched by Microsoft in 2006/7. The trademark application for Windows Vista was registered in 2008 in the following categories:
- Providing online information in the field of computer operating systems
- Operating systems
Microsoft Azure is a cloud service operated by Microsoft. It provides “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) and “Software as a Service” (SaaS), and “Infrastructure as a Service” (IaaS). It supports an array of programming frameworks, tools, and languages, including third-party integrations and Microsoft-specific tools. Azure was internally known as Project Red Dog ahead of its formal release in 2010 when it was known as Windows Azure. It was renamed Microsoft Azure later. The ‘‘Azure’’ trademark applies to the following:
- Educational services, including seminars and classes
- Application programming interface (API)
- Providing information online regarding computers and technology
- Educational services related to artificial intelligence
- Computer software for data backup/storage, CRM, database management, and remote access
- Electronic transmission and streaming of media content
- Cloud hosting provider services
Windows XP remains one of the most well-known Windows operating systems, despite being long eclipsed by Windows 7. The trademark for Windows XP was registered in 2002, following its first use in 2001. It was the follow-up to Windows 2000, and though it’s generally considered obsolete, there are still several million copies in use today. The trademark filing applies to:
- Computer services including providing technical information via computer networks
- Computer software, including operating systems, programs, and utilities
- Word process programs and fonts
- Programs for using and playing CDs and DVDs
- Computer programs for data exchange
- Video games
Microsoft Dynamics is a new way to manage customer relations for your business. The trademark for Dynamics 365 was registered in 2018, following its first use in 2016. The trademark applies to the following categories:
- Computer software related to the management of customer service, sales, business operations, social media, enterprise resource management, and more
- Financial and accountancy management
- Business services, including business consultation services
- Services offered and rendered via wireless networks
- Educational services, including conducting seminars and workshops related to computer software and business management
- Diagnostics and troubleshooting software
- SaaS services featuring software for sales management, business operation management, personnel management, and more
- Business marketing services
Windows 11 is one of the most recent trademark applications filed by Microsoft, it’s still pending as of 2022, but if approved, the trademark will apply to:
- Software designed for the automatic configuration of computer networks and programs
- 3D rendering
- Downloadable software for manipulating, improving, and supporting 4K resolution
- Downloadable software allows for a handheld device to be connected to a mouse
- Printed publications, including user manuals, teaching materials, and instruction guides
- Online retail store services featuring consumer goods, including video game consoles, security services, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and other portable electronics
- Artificial intelligence and data analytics
- Telecommunications services for providing access to a global computer network
- Entertainment services include information sharing related to news, movies, video games, news, sports, weather, etc.
- Programs for admin, calendaring, creating documents, note-taking, and project management
- SaaS services
- Licensing of computer programs and software
- Online social networking services
Intellectual property can be worth more than physical property, with billions of dollars worth of lawsuits every year. The trademarks of Microsoft corporation have sparked dozens of lawsuits already, with Microsoft stopping at nothing in defense of its intellectual property.
Microsoft began registering trademarks in the 1970s and has active trademark applications today. Overall, Microsoft has almost a thousand registered trademarks. Microsoft’s mammoth net worth is thought to be around 990 billion USD.