Zune vs. Zunior

Wired has picked up on the Canadian site zunior.com which operates an online music store dedicated to Canadian independent music.  The obvious question is whether the name ZUNIOR may be confusingly similar with the ZUNE trade-mark of Microsoft fame.   

According to Wired, Dave Ullrich isn’t worried: “We’ve been selling digital music [since] 2004… well before the Zune.  I always assumed someone there [at Microsoft] must have heard of us, but maybe not.  [When] I heard of the Zune, I immediately applied for copyright but I don’t really know if it matters.”

He means trade-mark, not copyright.  But anyway, he’s got the right form of protection, even if the wrong terminology.  Whether this is on Microsoft’s radar screen is anybody’s guess but chances are, it is.  Would Microsoft take a run at him?  On the face of it, they shouldn’t be entitled to if he’s been using it since 2004.  But this wouldn’t be the first time they used the force of legal persuasion, even when trade-mark law isn’t technically on their side.  They shut down an attempt to trade-mark MICROSOFT for use with soft contact lenses, even though it’s safe to say they’ll never be in the contact lens business. 

Calgary - 13:08 MST

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