Microsoft said it will seek to invalidate claims by a California company that has sued it for trademark infringement over the Office Live name.

Office Live LLC filed a trademark-infringement suit against Microsoft in the US District Court of Central California in Los Angeles earlier this month over Microsoft's web-based small business package of the same name. Microsoft began offering Office Live in November 2006. It provides customer relationship management, a web presence, collaboration and accounting services to small businesses.

In a statement sent by email, Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said his company doubts the legitimacy of Office Live's trademark claim and will "vigorously defend" its legal position to maintain the name for its service.

"Clearly, if anyone is seeking to gain from the name of another company's products, it's the plaintiffs in this case," he said.

According to court papers, California-based Office Live is seeking damages and an injunction to stop Microsoft from using the Office Live name.

Microsoft branded its Office Live service as part of a larger hosted services plan that has been given the ‘Live’ moniker. However, most of the other offerings in that strategy are branded as ‘Windows Live’ services, such as Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Search and Windows Live Hotmail.

Office Live said it registered to trademark the ‘Office Live’ name in 2002. It originally filed suit against Microsoft over the trademark in December 2006, but the case was put on hold so the companies could negotiate a settlement. When one was not reached, Office Live moved forward with its lawsuit against the software vendor.