Lindows Seeks to Stop Microsoft's Foreign Lawsuits

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Print this article Print


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With Microsoft winning in foreign courts, Lindows.com seeks to have the U.S. District Court block the software giant's international legal efforts to halt Lindows from doing business.

Besieged in Europe, where it recently has had to cease doing business in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, Lindows.com Inc. has submitted a motion to the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington asking the court to halt the flood of global trademark lawsuits Microsoft Corp. has filed against it.

While Lindows.com has prevailed against Microsoft's multiple requests to have the company shut down in the United States, it has not fared so well in Europe. There, Microsoft has been successful in getting the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (the Benelux countries) courts to forbid Lindows from doing business or face a 100,000 euro ($123,410) a day fine. In addition, Microsoft has had some success in similar cases against Lindows in Finland, France and Sweden, and the Redmond, Wash., company has recently filed another such case against Lindows in Canada.

Lindows tried to avoid the Benelux court fine by changing its name in the Benelux to "Lin---s" (Lindash). But the attempt failed on Microsoft's appeal and Lindows has abandoned this approach.

"Microsoft is purposely delaying the U.S. case from going to trial while they use their monopoly profits to fund a global legal assault on our small company to halt the adoption of Linux," Michael Robertson, Lindows.com's CEO, said in a prepared statement. "The U.S. case has been ongoing for over two years and Lindows is looking forward to presenting extensive evidence to a Seattle jury demonstrating that 'windows' is a generic word and that Microsoft secured a trademark only by committing fraud on the trademark office."

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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