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Linspire/Lindows Under Attack Again from MS Lawyers

Linspire/Lindows Under Attack Again from MS Lawyers

All is fair in love and Linux, it seems.

Certainly, Microsoft isn't giving up on its quest to eradicate the name "Lindows" from the planet and has just taken the newly-named Linspire back to court.

Once more it demands fines of 100 000 Euros a day  if - in accordance with Microsoft's legal action in Finland, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Canada - Lindows, Inc. doesn't remove the word "Lindows" from its Web site.

In characteristic fashion, the accused themselves are publicizing the charges:"Microsoft has filed a new complaint against Lindows, Inc. in Dutch courts," says a company news release, "despite a product name change and corresponding website name change to Linspire. Microsoft has asked the court to levy a 100,000 Euro per day fine against the operating system competitor."

The release goes on to outline The Story So Far, according anyway to Lindows:

On April 13, 2004, Lindows formally changed its product name and website from Lindows to Linspire in response to a Microsoft tactic of launching lawsuits in countries around the world over identical issues already heard in the United States concerning the windows trademark. More than two years ago, Microsoft began asking U.S. courts to halt the use of the term "lindows" and have been repeatedly rejected. The U.S. case is awaiting trial which Microsoft is now delaying with appeals.

The outcomes from Microsoft's many lawsuits have been mixed. Most recently, a French court sided with Lindows, but earlier a Dutch Judge blocked sales of Lindows into the Netherlands. After that ruling, Lindows halted all sales of its products under any name into that country. Currently no products are being sold under the Lindows or Linspire name into the Netherlands, yet Microsoft is continuing to file complaints in this region.

"Microsoft is continuing the bullying tactics which have obliterated competition over the last 20 years and led to convictions on multiple continents," says Michael Robertson, chief executive officer of Lindows, Inc.

"Its recent actions demonstrate that it has not reformed, but continues to be one of the world's worst corporate citizens that will do anything to squash competitors that threaten its monopoly profits," he continues.

Robertson assures the world that he halted the sale "of all products under any name to the Netherlands some time ago."

"At that time Microsoft argued that consumers were confused," Robertson says, "although they have never presented even one consumer who admits to being confused. Now Microsoft is taking the ridiculous position that the U.S. required copyright notice in tiny text on the bottom of some of the pages of Linspire's website will confuse consumers."

"We hope the Judge and the world will view Microsoft's action as continuing anti-competitive behavior and compel the company to compete fairly," he adds.

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SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

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