Potential MS vs. Sun Battle over Merlin Brand

by Steve Anglin

In this article, Microsoft unveils its new Merlin software. Wait a minute, Sun also unveiled its Merlin software recently. This could be the beginning of a trademark and branding battle.

MS Merlin is actually another new brand for PocketPC 2002, a new OS for handheld devices. Merlin "increases the number of Windows desktop applications duplicated (or at least simulated) in the handheld device -- including MSN Messenger, Windows Media Player and Microsoft Reader. ...all future PocketPCs will support flash memory so next-generation devices can be upgraded via the Internet."

Sun's Merlin, on the other hand, is another branding attempt for the latest Java Development Kit (JDK), actually the Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) development platform for Java programming and development for the client-side desktop PC or Mac.

Although one is for wireless clients and the latter is for desktop clients, both using the same branding will certainly inspire combat between Microsoft and Sun. In fact, it may have already started with an injunction against Microsoft, who claim to have the Trademark (TM) or Service Mark (SM), as evidenced by Sun who has apparently backed-off using the Merlin brand of late.

More on this as it develops, and as available.

If you have any leads on this as it unfolds, feel free to let us know.