Lindows.com drops letters in European revival

The Linux seller, which Microsoft contends infringes its Windows trademark, is back in business in Benelux countries, minus a few letters from its name.

David Becker Staff Writer, CNET News.com
David Becker
covers games and gadgets.
David Becker
2 min read
Controversial Linux seller Lindows.com is back in business in Europe, minus a few letters.

The software company, in the midst of a wide-ranging dispute with Microsoft regarding trademark rights to the Windows name, announced Tuesday that it is now doing business in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg as Lin---s.

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A Dutch judge last month granted Microsoft's request for a preliminary injunction, barring Lindows from doing business under that name.

The Dutch case is one of several European venues where Microsoft has expanded its legal battle against Lindows, claiming that the company's moniker is an illegal attempt to profit on the name of Microsoft's dominant Windows operating system.

For the original suit, a U.S. federal judge recently ruled in Lindows' favor, declaring that the case's jury should consider whether "windows" was a generic computing term at the time Microsoft was granted the trademark, as Lindows contends it was, and arguing that such prior use would render Microsoft's trademark invalid. Microsoft says the case should be based on current use of the term and is appealing the ruling.

The U.S. judge earlier rejected Microsoft's request for an injunction similar to the one granted by the Dutch court.

Lindows is fighting the European trademark actions along with the U.S. case but decided to revert to the truncated name in the Netherlands for the time being, according to a company statement. "Dutch citizens deserve the same choices that are currently available to the citizens of more than one hundred countries around the world," Lindows CEO Michael Robertson said in the statement.

The company has set up a new Web site, Lin---s.com, for Benelux customers.