Lindows.com's Side of the Story

by Richard Vernon

On January 3, 2002, we posted an item by Doc Searls in which he discussed the lawsuit filed by Microsoft against Lindows.com for having a name that resembles Windows a little too closely. The following press release by Lindows explains their counter move.

SAN DIEGO -- January 15th, 2002 -- Lindows.com announced today that it filed a motion to dismiss the pending trademark lawsuit filed by Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") against Lindows.com. In the lawsuit Microsoft seeks to prevent Lindows.com from using the term "LindowsOS" and "Lindows.com." Because Lindows.com has no presence and conducts no business in the state of Washington, Lindows.com has filed a motion to dismiss the claim citing a lack of personal jurisdiction over the San Diego, CA based company. Both Lindows.com's motion to dismiss and Microsoft's motion for preliminary injunctions are tentatively scheduled for hearing on February 1, 2002.

"We're looking forward to showing the Court the widespread use of the term 'windows' or variations thereof by literally hundreds of companies that are not endorsed or sponsored by Microsoft. The fact that Microsoft has chosen not to sue these companies demonstrates that their true motivation in this case is to crush competition from a promising new technology that threatens their illegally obtained monopoly", said Lindows.com CEO, Michael Robertson.

As part of the legal process, Microsoft Corporation demanded that Lindows.com turn over its entire database of names, e-mail addresses and physical addresses for parties interested in the yet-to-be-sold operating system, which will run both popular Microsoft Windows software and Linux software.

"We're not happy that a company known for illegal business practices took the unnecessary step of gaining access to our database. In spite of their assurances it will not be used for any purpose outside this case, we've alerted our users of Microsoft's actions and believe this is another way Microsoft is attempting to intimidate a potential competitor", commented Robertson.

In spite of the delays encountered while producing nearly 15,000 pages of documents demanded by Microsoft, development of LindowsOS is continuing. Screenshots of the product are available at Lindows.com.

Richard Vernon is Editor in Chief of Linux Journal.

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