Microsoft's Lindows Fight Expands To Canada

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Print this article Print


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Microsoft seeks a permanent injunction against Lindows.com's use of the Lindows trademarks in Canada.

Microsoft Corp. has opened a Canadian front in its continuing legal war with Lindows.com Inc. In this latest move, Microsoft filed a request for a permanent injunction at the Court of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, last week to stop Lindows.com from using Lindows, LindowsOS and other terms that conflict with Microsoft's Windows trademark.

If the Court grants this injunction, it would be a serious blow to the San Diego, Calif.-based Linux distributor. According to Lindows.com, "Canadian customers represent more than 20 percent of Lindows.com's early business."

Microsoft representative Stacey Drake explains to eWEEK.com: "In response to what is a clear and obvious infringement of its trademarked Windows name, Microsoft has taken steps in Canada to curtail infringing or misleading behavior on the part of Lindows.com."

Lindows CEO Michael Robertson, however, says that Microsoft is out to kill off Lindows. "Microsoft's strategy is to try and bury us with lawsuits. Regardless of the final legal outcome they figure they are winning by forcing us to juggle a large number lawsuits which is time consuming and expensive - especially for a small company. It's frustrating, but nobody said it was going to be easy competing with the richest monopoly in the world."

Drake denies that this is the case. "Microsoft's actions are only about the Lindows name. We are merely asking that Lindows change its name, which is obviously meant to copy the Windows brand. There are many Linux operating system products in the market using their own distinctive names that don't infringe the Windows mark and Microsoft has no trademark issue with them. Lindows can resolve this issue by changing its name and competing under a non-infringing name."

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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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