Soon after Microsoft announced the launch of the Dataflex low-code platform for Teams in late July, global application development software provider Data Access noted in a blog post that it already has “multiple, registered U.S. trademarks for the ‘DATAFLEX’ brand software based on the first use in commerce in 1981.”
The Microsoft Dataflex announcement was made in a blog post on the company’s website, which now shows a 404 error.
“We were totally surprised by Microsoft’s use of our trademark for their new platform to easily build and deploy apps that they call ‘Microsoft Dataflex,'” Chip Casanave, president and chief executive officer of Data Access noted in a July 23 blog post.
Casanave also wrote that the moniker is causing “confusion” and that the company has been receiving inquiries from customers confused by Microsoft’s announcement.
“The new ‘Microsoft Dataflex’ has nothing to do with Data Access Worldwide’s long-standing DataFlex products. There is no business connection between Microsoft and Data Access with respect to the DataFlex trademark; Microsoft’s new product has no technical connection to Data Access Worldwide’s Dataflex product,” Casanave clarified.
He called it a “complex matter” and said that the company is consulting legal experts for advice and will publish updates as more information is available.
The Microsoft Dataflex provides relational database management directly within Microsoft Teams. Built atop of the Microsoft Common Data Service, Dataflex lets users easily create databases, Microsoft Power Apps, and AI chatbots in tandem with Microsoft’s Power Virtual agents–all without switching between different applications. It sports a drag and drop interface for creating conversation flows, as well as a simple interface for database management.
Dataflex, along with Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agent in Teams is scheduled to be rolled out to public preview this month. While there’s no official release date, Microsoft said that it will be available for select Microsoft 365 and Office 365 users at no additional cost.
IT Business Canada has reached out to Microsoft for comment about the branding conflict and asked when the pages about Dataflex will be restored. Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.