"According to the United States Trademark and Patent Web site, Microsoft has been using "Excel" since 1985. But it only applied for the trademark on April 12th of this year."
Savvysoft, who make Excel portable to Linux under the name TurboExcel, thought that they were in pretty deep water when mega corporation Microsoft decided to sue them for using the Excel name. However, it appears that Microsoft has gone and rather foolishly neglected to trademark the name itself, and as such Microsoft didn't own it either! They have applied as from April 12th of this year, but its been speculated that they might not get the trademark as there is already an Excel Software which went into business long before Microsoft Excel even started. Whilst its of no doubt that Microsoft will wind up owning the name Excel unless God himself objects, its still interesting to see if this one causes any further embarrassment.