PracticePeople In PracticeSage loses right to name in US

Sage loses right to name in US

Sage Software has lost a court battle which has resulted in the software giant being ordered to scrap using 'Sage' as a trademark in the US from next year.

Quick Technologies, a Dallas-based provider of business software and internet services, was already using the trademark before the Newcastle-based company began trading in the US.

The jury found Sage liable for trademark infringement of the ‘Sage’ trademark in a long-running lawsuit between the two parties.

QTI filed the original lawsuit in May of 1998 in a federal district court in Dallas after it learned Sage US was proceeding to infringe QTI’s trademark with full knowledge of it’s rights.

A jury decided QTI had prior rights to the mark ‘Sage’, and also found ‘a likelihood of confusion’, and ordered Sage Software to stop all use of the trademark by 2 January 2002.

In addition to the injunctions, QTI will also be seeking attorneys’ fees and other unspecified post-verdict monetary relief. Neither side has filed an appeal in the case.

The news is a further blow to the company after a survey revealed that Sage is facing an increasingly tough low-end accounting battle for market share with Intuit – the manufacturer of Quickbooks.

According to the latest retail figures from independent industry retail monitor Chart-Track, which looked at sales for May, QuickBooks held retail sales amounting to 50% of the accounts software market, while Sage Instant Accounting sold 39%.

To compound Sage’s worries, AccountancyAge.com revealed earlier this month that Microsoft Great Plains could be preparing for an assault on the market too.

At a conference last month organised by US accounting body the American Institute of CPAs, Great Plains launched its plans to branch out of the mid-market, where the Fargo-based software company previously concentrated its fire.

Code-named ‘Blue’, the new software will be designed for companies with less than $5m (£3.55m) in annual revenue and with five to 25 employees.In the US, MS Great Plains’ first target will be users who have outgrown QuickBooks, but cannot afford to jump to the MS Great Plains Dynamics range.

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