You hire the best branding bods in the world, put on an expensive high profile launch and then unveil your new product and its spankly new name to the world, only to realise that somebody has already beaten you to it.

Mircosoft is awaking this morning to find that its new rebranded operating system Windows Vista may have to undergo a name change before it gets to the shops in next year.

The problem has been caused by a small American company already owning the trademark for Vista.

"We are going to consider our options and talk to Microsoft," John Wall, the founder of Wall Data and owner of the trademark told The Seattle Times.

The irony is that the small company happens to be based in Redmond, Washington, the home town of Microsoft.

Vista has not yet filed suit against the software giant.

Microsoft announced the new name for its operating system on Friday.