Microsoft's satellite imagery project was sued over the TerraServer name, by a small North Carolina company alleging that the firm was using its name which is already registered.
In a suit filed in North Carolina federal court, Terraserver.com sought monetary damages from Microsoft, and asked the firm to stop using the name TerraServer in its TerraServer-USA satellite imagery project.
TerraServer-USA is Microsoft's ten year old research project that makes satellite images and maps from the U.S. Geological Survey, and then makes them freely available on the Internet.
Microsoft started the project in an effort to experiment it with windows and SQL Server, processing large amounts of data in a high performance computing environment.
Terraserver.com stated in the filing that it initially worked with Microsoft and Compaq to develop the project but it maintains that it held the Terra Server trademark since 2000, including a trademark for Terraserver-usa which was formerly called Aerial Images.