Sage changes brand to 'Best'

Accountancy software firm Sage settles on a new brand for its US operations after coming out worst in a protracted legal battle

The US subsidiary of British financial software vendor Sage Group will from next year brand products under the 'Best' name, the company said this week.

Sage Software Incorporated was forced to drop the use of the Sage brand after Quick Technologies (QTI) was granted an injunction against the company. The jury in the case found there was a likelihood of confusion between Sage products and QTI's accounting products -- which have been sold under the Sage brand since 1992.

As a result of the injunction, Sage Software Incorporated has to drop the Sage name from its accountancy products from 2 January, 2002. The company has now confirmed that its US financial and time tracking products will share the common brand name of Best from 1 January.

Attempts by the company both in the UK and the US to play down the significance of the ruling are marred by the company's own assertion that its brand is "one of the company's strongest and most valuable assets".

Sage Group did not reply to a request for comment, but at the time the court ruling was issued, in early June, a spokesman said the Sage name would still be used as an endorsement on the software boxes. The spokesman also noted that the US accounts for just eight percent of Sage's global revenues, and these products account for a small proportion of that. "The decision will not materially affect the company's revenues," he said.

The products that will be combined under the Best corporate name include the MAS 90 and MAS 200 business management solutions for companies with 10 to 500 employees; Enterprise Suite; Platinum for Windows by SSI; BusinessWorks; DacEasy; Timeslips; Carpe Diem Electronic Time Sheet; and TimeSheet Professional. The company already uses the Best brand for several other products.

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