Microsoft Asks Court to Fine Lindows Again

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The international trademark battle between Microsoft and Lindows continues to generate work for lawyers and the courts. The software giant has once again asked a Dutch court to fine Lindows $118,570 a day, the open source software vendor says.

Even though Lindows has changed the name of its operating system and the corresponding Web site to Linspire, Microsoft is still not satisfied, the San Diego-based company says. Microsoft argues that users accessing the Web site are becoming confused by the Lindows company name in some of the pages on its site. A hearing concerning the request will be held later in the day, Lindows says.

Representatives for Microsoft and Lindows in Europe were not immediately available to comment.

Last March, Microsoft had requested a court in the Netherlands impose fines of $118,570 a day against Lindows for allowing its Web site to be accessed by visitors in the Benelux countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. That followed its court victory in January when an Amsterdam judge barred the company from using the Lindows name in those countries.

Causing Confusion?

In its latest legal move in the Dutch courts, Microsoft is asserting that the U.S. required copyright notice located in small text on the bottom of some of the pages of the Linspire.com Web site will confuse consumers, Lindows says.

Microsoft has been aggressive in its trademark infringement claims against Lindows over the similarity between the Windows and Lindows names. Along with its legal victories in the Netherlands, Microsoft has also had success in bringing actions against Lindows in Finland and Sweden.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, has so far seen less progress in its U.S. trademark infringement lawsuit against Lindows, having last month appealed the denial of its injunction requests.

As with past legal challenges from Microsoft, Lindows contends the move is simply an effort to put it out of business, and in the U.S. is seeking to have "windows" declared a generic word.

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