Digital has won the first round in its high profile trademark suit against tiny software company Altavista Technology (ATI).
A Massachusetts District Court has granted Digital and its search engine subsidiary Altavista a preliminary injunction, which orders ATI not to use Digital?s trademark ?in a way that creates the false impression that ATI?s Web site is Digital?s? Altavista search service".
Digital?s Altavista, which was launched in late 1995, has become one of the most popular search tools on the Internet but the company claims it can be confused with the Web site of the small Californian multimedia software company.
According to evidence thrown up during this week's lawsuit, ATI has redesigned its site over the last year to look, feel and function like Digital?s Altavista search service.
The systems giant bought the rights to the Altavista trademark from ATI early last year and subsequently licensed to ATI ?very limited and specific uses of the trademark". Its suit, filed last October, alleges that ATI has used the trademark in ways that breach the licensing agreement and confuse advertisers and Web users as to the source of the Altavista Internet search service.
The court injunction requires that ATI display a disclaimer on every page of its Web site, stating that the site is in no way affiliated with Digital or the Altavista Internet Search Service.
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