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Quebec Order of Engineers wins legal battle with Microsoft

The Ordre des Ingenieurs du Quebec has scored a victory in its efforts to stop Microsoft giving the title "Microsof...


The Ordre des Ingenieurs du Quebec has scored a victory in its efforts to stop Microsoft giving the title “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer,” to graduates of its training courses.

In April the Court of Quebec accepted the Order’s penal proceedings against the software giant and found Microsoft guilty of contravening the province’s Professional Code for “knowingly causing a person who is not a member of the OIQ by authorization or encouragement, to use the title of engineer…” The infringement was found to be an offence under Section 188.1 of the Professional Code RSQ, c. C-26.

Gaetan Lefebre, ing., president of OIQ, noted “the OIQ is very satisfied with the Court judgement which confirms that the title engineer, alone or with descriptors, is reserved by the Engineers Act exclusively for our members.”

Three years ago in 2001 Microsoft had agreed — under pressure by organizations like OIQ and the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers — to stop giving its course graduates the title “Microsoft Certified System Engineer.” However, in July 2002 it reversed that decision and told its 35,000 certified graduates in Canada that they could continue to use “engineer” to signify their qualifications.

The OIQ has already been successful in prosecuting a number of individuals — not necessarily certified by Microsoft — who are not licensed engineers but call themselves “systems engineers.”


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1 Comment » for Quebec Order of Engineers wins legal battle with Microsoft
  1. Nick says:

    I believe that it is a very bad practice to reserve generic words from the dictionary to give some organization the exclusive rights to use it. Software engineers has nothing to do with the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, so claiming that only engineers from this organization can use that word in their title is an abuse. I got my software engineer degree in another country, worldwide software engineers are called like that. So why politicians made this mistake and gave this organization such exclusive rights for this title I don’t know. Give someone exclusive rights for a letter “A” and make them able to sue others for using it. It will be as bad.

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