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Microsoft Spawns Controversy by Naming Internal Project ‘Tulalip’

The Tulalip tribe in Washington is not thrilled with Microsoft naming one of its internal projects after the tribe.

The tribe’s officials are currently in talks with Microsoft over the issue, but the company maintains that the name of the project was not supposed to leak to the outside world.

It recently emerged that Microsoft is working on its own social networking platform, which has been codenamed Tulalip.

According to Seattle Times, Democratic state Rep. John McCoy, who is also member of the tribe, believes that some Microsoft Research employees involved in the project lived near or on the Tulalip reservation.

"By all accounts, it's an internal project at Microsoft and not a public thing. But in reality they should not have named it Tulalip," McCoy said. "I have no idea what our tribal officials plan to do, but technically these Microsoft employees infringed on the Tulalip name."

The Native American Rights Fund also believes that Microsoft should have used the tribe’s name without permission and added that it was ‘common courtesy’ to ask for permission. Microsoft itself has dragged people to court for using its intellectual property rights.