ST. PAUL - 3M has sued Microsoft, accusing the software company of patent infringement for creating an electronic version of 3M's Post-It notes in Microsoft's Office 97.
In the suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, 3M says the new Microsoft product can create "computer representations of repositionable adhesive notes, yellow in color."
The suit also alleges that Microsoft's electronic notes feature is so similar to 3M's year-old software version of Post-It notes that consumers will confuse the two products.
Microsoft Office 97 users can access the notes feature by entering "Post-It" or "3M Post-It," the suit says.
Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing introduced Post-It notes in 1980 and registered its Post-It trademark for software notes in 1993.
"We don't believe we are infringing on their trademark," said Mark Murray, a Microsoft spokesman. Microsoft is cooperating with 3M in an attempt to clear up the matter, he said.