View Full Version : Microsoft Dataflex

Chip Casanave
21-Jul-2020, 10:59 PM
We are totally surprised by Microsoft's use of DAW's registered trademark "DATAFLEX" as announced here (https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-microsoft-dataflex-a-new-low-code-data-platform-for-microsoft-teams/).

Data Access Corp. has registered trademarks on various forms of "DATAFLEX" based on commercial use beginning in 1981.

Background: The same "mark" (e.g. "DataFlex") can be used on different products in different trademark "classes", which define different product categories. That's why the Dutch ergonomic office products called Dataflex (https://www.dataflex-int.com/en) can co-exist with "our DataFlex" - the products are in totally different trademark classes. The use of the same mark to identify similar products in the same class is not allowed.

There is much to be known about Microsoft's use of Dataflex and Data Access' legal rights. We will be consulting trademark legal experts for advice and will post updates as more is known.

Roel Westhoff [W4]
23-Jul-2020, 01:34 AM
Good morning Chip,

Thank you for the good explanation of the rules of a registered trademark.

Because of the fact that both names refer to a development platform product gives me confidence that the 'older' trademark will prevail.

It could - during /after legal dispute - result in more exposure on DataAccess Dataflex. Free publicity.

A good thing?


Chip Casanave
23-Jul-2020, 07:01 AM
Hi Roel!

We do have maturity in our trademark's use and, it is formally registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark office. In other words, we do not just claim the trademark (TM), we have gone through the necessary legal processes to formally register it. Accordingly, we can use the (R) symbol with DataFlex which also gives us a solid basis to defend the trademark.

There's a saying in marketing - "there is no such thing as bad publicity". My guess is that 1,000's more people than ever have now learned more about "our" DataFlex. Or, should I say #RealDataFlex! :D

Chip Casanave
23-Jul-2020, 09:54 AM
We are getting a lot of inquiries about this and there are growing references to our DataFlex trademark across publications, blogs, Twitter and more. To have an easy reference to clarifying the subject, I've just posted a blog largely restating what's written above. For confused DataFlex application customers and other interested parties, the focused blog is an easier read than a forum thread.

Please feel free to share this link: https://www.dataaccess.com/blog/dataflex/microsoft-dataflex-1606

23-Jul-2020, 11:37 AM
Imagine the confusion all these recruiters are going to be suffering when scouring LinkedIn for DataFlex and finding developers with 20-30+ years experience :cool:

Michael Mullan
23-Jul-2020, 12:20 PM
Here's an earlier example of trademark conflict resolution (https://community.southwest.com/t5/Blog/Malice-in-Dallas-25-Years-ago-Today/ba-p/52367)...



Garret Mott
23-Jul-2020, 12:38 PM
My profile got 6 hits today...

24-Jul-2020, 01:35 PM
I got this job that I've had for 30 years next July because I had 'DataManagement' or somesuch on my resume. I can't now recall what it referred to. Fortunately 2.3 was fairly easy to pick up. Confusion is good!

29-Jul-2020, 04:09 PM

Garret Mott
29-Jul-2020, 05:03 PM

Bob Worsley
29-Jul-2020, 07:14 PM
I guess they're serious... ;)

29-Jul-2020, 08:33 PM
you have to. if you do not defend it you could loose it

Chip Casanave
11-Aug-2020, 09:20 AM
Due to ongoing litigation, Data Access is advised not to comment on the trademark matter at this time. Mary Jo Foley provides an excellent summary today on ZDnet...

Bob Worsley
11-Aug-2020, 10:53 AM
Good article, sounds promising

11-Aug-2020, 11:05 AM
good article and just the facts.

Tried to add a comment pointing out that DAW are half of the first page links on a Bing or Google Search for 'Dataflex' but Edge won't allow popups. Funny, that... :cool: <insert conspiracy emoji>

Roel Westhoff [W4]
11-Aug-2020, 03:18 PM
Good evening Chip,

Looks like 'game-set-and-match' ... but with Microsoft lawyers you never know.
Interesting story. Reposts on Linkedin generate - with my limited number of followers - some interest.

Is there a timeline?


Mike Cooper
11-Aug-2020, 03:50 PM
Good job so far, Chip. Several years ago, I had a company tell me that I couldn't use my trademarked name "Grasp" in Canada. But of course we had it registered. They kept surfacing every few years, but eventually they realized that they couldn't bully it away from us... because, of course, we owned the trademarked name. While it may seem expensive to register a trademark it is well worth it. My company actually owns several both names and designs.

24-Aug-2020, 02:23 PM
It looks like it was removed, the link is not working

Dennis Piccioni
24-Aug-2020, 02:24 PM
It still works for me.

24-Aug-2020, 03:01 PM
Temporary error
its work now

Dennis Piccioni
24-Aug-2020, 03:04 PM

Roel Westhoff [W4]
28-Aug-2020, 02:47 AM
Good Morning Chip,

Can you give us an update on the status of the 'Microsoft vs Data Access' case?

What is the timeline? Is it going away?


Chip Casanave
3-Sep-2020, 09:02 PM
I've posted an update about the legal status in the "Microsoft DataFlex (https://www.dataaccess.com/blog/dataflex/microsoft-dataflex-1606)" blog.

Samuel Pizarro
4-Sep-2020, 07:30 AM
Nice. Good news!

Thanks and Congratulations!!!

4-Sep-2020, 10:05 AM
I've posted an update about the legal status in the "Microsoft DataFlex (https://www.dataaccess.com/blog/dataflex/microsoft-dataflex-1606)" blog.

great news. Somebody at MS is getting a reaming, I imagine...

Mike Peat
6-Sep-2020, 08:29 AM
Looking for "new challenges", I suspect! ;)


Bob Worsley
6-Sep-2020, 10:07 AM
or maybe new ways to take over the world...

Roel Westhoff [W4]
7-Oct-2020, 08:05 AM
I've posted an update about the legal status in the "Microsoft DataFlex (https://www.dataaccess.com/blog/dataflex/microsoft-dataflex-1606)" blog.

Good afternoon Chip,

I've read the Microsoft Dataflex blog including the 'update'. The latest post is from a month ago.

Are you allowed to elaborate on you remarks 'Data Access and Microsoft have agreed to resolve their dispute. Data Access has dismissed its complaint.'?

We were talking about a - for Data Access historic - David and Goliath 'battle' and it seems that the two opponents stared each other in the eye and the problem just disappeared?

Just curious what happened?


7-Oct-2020, 04:37 PM
Hi Roel

I think it’s one of those; if they could tell us, they would tell us...

Chip Casanave
8-Oct-2020, 10:18 AM
Roel, Marco has it right. Please pay attention to both lines in the last update I added to the blog. The second is not without significance...

"Data Access retains full rights in its DataFlex trademark and will continue to use and defend it."

Peter van Mil
16-Oct-2020, 03:10 PM
Nice to read: There never was a “Microsoft Dataflex”


Bob Worsley
16-Oct-2020, 03:24 PM
I can't help but wonder if any heads rolled given their screw-up...

16-Oct-2020, 03:29 PM
Thanks for sharing. Interesting read !