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December 17, 2010

Micro Focus, Info Builders Focus brand confusion confirmed

"I can personally vouch for this misunderstanding": expert

By Jason Stamper

Doug Lautzenheiser

Doug Lautzenheiser, general manager, Partner Intelligence

As CBR exclusively reported at the end of November, Information Builders is considering legal action against Micro Focus over the possible confusion between the Micro Focus and Information Builders’ FOCUS and WebFOCUS brands.

But is there really potential for confusion between the business intelligence firm’s FOCUS brands and Micro Focus, a vendor of legacy migration and modernisation technologies and services? Absolutely, says former Information Builders employee and WebFOCUS consultant and blogger, Doug Lautzenheiser.

Writing on his blog, Lautzenheiser – who describes himself as a top authority on WebFOCUS with 23 years work with Information Builders technologies, customers and partners – said: "As IBI’s software peer grows and reinvents itself as a legacy modernization vendor, somebody within IBI must be concerned about confusion over the ‘Focus’ products."

"I can personally vouch for this misunderstanding," said Lautzenheiser. "Over the years, I have talked with many industry individuals who when I mentioned FOCUS thought I was talking about Micro Focus COBOL."

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We should stress that Lautzenheiser is no longer an employee of Information Builders (and nor was he the source of our original article that revealed Information Builders is considering legal action against Micro Focus).

Lautzenheiser is general manager of Partner Intelligence, a Cincinnati-based consulting firm specializing in BI professional services such as strategic advice, BI application development, and tools and methodologies for automating BI application development tasks.

In our original story, a source still employed by Information Builders told us Micro Focus has so far been "very slow to react" to Information Builders’ concerns. Our source said that although Information Builders is "keen to settle this thing out of court", if it fails to win Micro Focus’ co-operation, "We’ll go to court, and we’ll win."

A Micro Focus spokesperson told CBR last time: "There is no litigation between Micro Focus and Information Builders. Both companies have been negotiating amicably with respect to the registration of a trademark."

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