Goodbye Dataflex: Microsoft abandons brand name for Teams app-building service

August 11 2020

The legal hurdles that quickly followed Microsoft's announcement of the new Dataflex brand as a low-code app building tool for Teams have now led to the company pulling the name off all visible web properties and reverting to an unofficial codename.

And while some pages remain broken, the old name for the full-scale service upon which Dataflex was build, the Common Data Services (CDS), has also reappeared on other key landing pages:

News of the change appears to have started with people noticing the product name changed from Dataflex to Project Oakdale on a Microsoft Teams blog post. The change also corresponded with broken links to other olde blog posts specifically about the Dataflex announcement by Microsoft product leaders.

Mary Jo Foley on ZDNet reports that a Microsoft spokesperson told her that Microsoft will select a new name and will share it "in the coming weeks".

TwitterThe revelation of this obvious trademark issue took mere hours after the announcement in July and seems to have led some in the Microsoft ecosystem to watch and wait expectantly for this moment to arrive. 

LawStreet Media explained the basics of the legal action that has ensued, with Data Access Corporation filing a complaint on July 27 in the Southern District of Florida against defendant Microsoft Corporation for trademark infringement of the DATAFLEX trademark.

In their complaint, Data Access asserted that they have been using the DATAFLEX mark for over forty years in connection with "software for building and deploying business applications" and that they have 'developed substantial domestic and international goodwill and name recognition in this valuable trademark."

The complaint also alleges that Microsoft continued to use Dataflex long after a July 22 cease and desist letter sent by Data Access' legal counsel.  Data Access sought a declaratory judgment, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, an award for damages, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, an award for attorneys’ fees and cost, and other relief.

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