Bing! Information Design of St. Louis has filed a lawsuit in that city’s Circuit Court accusing Microsoft of trademark infringement and unfair practices in naming its search engine Bing.
Ars Technica reports that the design firm’s case hinges on the fact that it uses the internet as a primary advertising and marketing venue, and that Microsoft’s extensive promotion of a search engine of the same name dilutes and hinders its ability to market its services via search engine optimization (SEO).
Computer World says that the St. Louis-based firm really is a small one, with the two principals listed on the company website as "overlord-in-chief" and "brains behind the operation." Microsoft has said that it considers the suit to be without merit and is that the company will "look forward to the next steps in the judicial process," according to Ars Technica.
The two companies have both applied to trademark the term "Bing," though Microsoft’s application was received roughly three months before that of the Missouri design firm, according to Computer World. The design firm has been using the name since 2000.