Lindows becomes 'Lin---s' in Europe

Following court orders barring the Lindows name, Linux vendor Lindows.com has changed its name in several European countries to Lin---s, pronounced Lindash.

By changing its name, Lindows.com can continue to offer its desktop Linux product to citizens of those countries where Microsoft won injunctions banning the Lindows name, Lindows.com said in a statement Tuesday.

A new www.lin---s.com Web site has been created especially for people in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden, Lindows.com said.

"This was in direct response to the court order barring us from the Benelux regions," Lindows spokeswoman Cheryl Schwarzman said.

An Amsterdam District Court judge ruled in late January that Lindows.com's use of the terms Lindows, LindowsOS and Lindows.com violated the Benelux Merkenwet, the branding law for Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux). Lindows looks too much like Microsoft's Windows, the judge found.

Microsoft earlier won preliminary injunctions barring Lindows.com from using the Lindows name in Sweden and in Finland, it has said. However, according to Schwarzman there currently is no legal barrier preventing Finnish citizens from buying from Lindows.com.

After several legal setbacks in Europe, Lindows.com last week claimed a victory in its U.S. battle with Microsoft. A district court in Washington said that if the case came to trial, it would instruct the jury to consider whether "windows" was a generic term before Microsoft introduced software with that name in 1985.

Microsoft has insisted several times that its pursuit of Lindows is about only the Lindows name, and not about its competing operating system. A Microsoft spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the new Lindash name.

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