The Hazards Of Being Mike Row

By | January 22, 2004

From the Proof That Microsoft Has No Sense of Humour, Is Appallingly Cheap, But Eventually Gets It Dept:

Paul Thurrott of Windows and .NET Magazine tells the story of a Canadian teenager called Mike Rowe who brought down the full wrath of Redmond’s lawyers when he set up a website called They sent him a 25-page letter demanding that he hand over the domain name. Rowe goes to the press, his site gets massive interest, his case gets lots of support, and suddenly, Microsoft has backed down, issuing an
apology in which the company admitted that it had acted improperly.

As Paul points out, they probably had to go after Mr. Row. According to trademark law, trademark owners are required to defend their trademarks against infringement or risk losing the mark. But, Paul says, few people could argue that Rowe doesn’t have a valid claim for the domain name. “It’s not [Microsoft’s] name,” Rowe recently said. “It’s my name. I just think it’s kind of funny that they’d go after a 17 year old.”

Mind you, the lads at Redmond have a point: If you type MikeRowSoft into Google you get the inevitable question: ‘Did you mean microsoft?’ But did they have to be so grizzly about it? Newspapers say that when Rowe demanded compensation the lawyers offered him US$10 in U.S. funds — what it cost him to register the domain. That was when the 17-year old got mad and asked for $10,000.

Me? I’m going to see whether the following are registered:, microwsoft,,, etc etc.

4 thoughts on “The Hazards Of Being Mike Row

  1. Yannick

    If you are talking about the “soft”ware, microwsoft,,, etc etc.

    But when you found a website who likes like windows..

    Can they make also a problem with that?

    Because when you are talking about windows
    you can think at other things.. windows i a house…

    Can you ore someone reply me that the name is also “protected” like M$ ore not.

    Remember there is nothing with “software” in the domainname. Ore has nothing to do with M$. And has no insults ( like w*nd*wss*
    Just a clean name



  2. rwbc

    Thinking about putting some sexlinks on this site as in Dutch it translates into ‘my soft crotch’, haha – am i gonna get in trouble for this?


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