Linux CEO to Microsoft: Compete in market, not court

As anyone knows who has not been living in a cave, in 2003 Microsoft took its lawsuit overseas regarding MS Windows trademark infringement while the same issues were being heard in United States courts.

In response to Microsoft's lawsuits worldwide and to continue operating overseas, Lindows Inc. changed its product name and Web site address in April 2004 to Linspire.

Microsoft then filed a second request for a preliminary injunction in Amsterdam stating that Lindows was continuing to infringe on their trademark based on small print use of the trade name.

Currently no products are being sold under the Lindows or Linspire name into the Netherlands and the term "Lindows" is not used on the Web site except as required for corporate and copyright identification purposes. Accordingly, on May 27, the Amsterdam District Court ruled in favor of Lindows on all counts.

Basically, the court agreed with Lindows that not every use of the trade name "Lindows" infringes on the trademark "Windows."

In an official company statement, Lindows commented:

"According to the ruling Lindows has complied with the use of the trade name and can continue to use the name Lindows on a limited basis, accompanied at all times with the additional phrase that Lindows is not affiliated with "windows" (sic) in any way. Since the trade name Lindows is still legal outside the Benelux and the use of the name does not justify a competitive advantage, the court concluded that the use does not contravene the prior judgement nor the settlement agreement. The court could not require nor was it obligated to have Lindows adapt its trade name outside the Benelux, ruling there was no infringing use of the trade name, and therefore denying Microsoft's claim."

"This victory is quite a turnaround," said Michael Robertson, "because Microsoft had asked for a daily fine to be levied against us and instead they are the ones required to pay."

"We hope Microsoft can move past these legal tactics and learn to compete in the marketplace rather than the courtroom," he added.

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