While Microsoft's battles with the Justice Department have been making headlines for the past year, the company is involved in several other lawsuits which aren't quite so high-profile. One of these cases, in fact, was just settled: A software developer representing a defunct ISP sued Microsoft in 1995 for trademark infringement over the name "Internet Explorer," which the ISP had used to describe a custom-built Web product. This week, Microsoft settled the case for $5 million, giving Redmond the rights to use the name.
"This will clear up any questions about Microsoft's right to use the name 'Internet Explorer,'" said Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan. We are confident we would have won this case on the merits, but we are pleased to put this issue behind us. It appears the events in the court room helped us achieve a settlement that is in the interest of all the parties."
Under terms of the settlement, representatives of the defunct ISP will drop their suit and transfer the federal trademark application for Microsoft