Microsoft's latest attempt to squeeze Linux vendor Lindows has been thrown out of court. The software giant had argued that despite the company changing its product name outside the US to "Linspire", its trademark was still violated by the fact that the company's name was still Lindows.
A Netherlands court saw things differently and threw the case out, saying its current limited use of the Lindows name does not violate Microsoft's Windows trademark. In the Amsterdam District Court ruling, Judge Sj. A. Rullmann said: "Not every use of the business name Lindows infringes on the Windows trademark."
Lindows currently uses the Lindows name only in the small print on its website and product documentation and clearly states that it is not affiliated with Microsoft. That use is not in violation of the court's January ruling that barred Lindows from using the name to sell its version of the Linux operating system, according to the court.
Microsoft has aggressively been fighting Lindows over the similarity between the Windows and Lindows names. The software giant has had success in bringing actions against Lindows in the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden.
It has had less success in the US, however, where it lost two requests for an injunction. Furthermore, last week a federal appeals court declined Microsoft's request to review a key pre-trial ruling against the company. As a result, a jury reviewing the US case would be instructed to consider whether "windows" was a generic term before Microsoft introduced software with that name in 1985.
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