Lindows ordered to drop name

By Julio Franco ยท 30 replies
Dec 12, 2003
  1. Judges in Finland and Sweden have given Microsoft Corp. what it has twice been denied in the U.S.: preliminary injunctions barring Linux vendor Inc. from using the Lindows name.

    Microsoft sued in the U.S. in December 2001, accusing the company of infringing its Windows trademark and asking the court to bar from using the Lindows name. The company lost two requests for an injunction and the matter is now for a jury to decide in a trial set to start March 1, 2004.

    Read more: Infoworld.
  2. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    And now it begins. But the weirdest part is that it got tried twice in the US (where M$ is located) and failed, and now seems to have a chance at winning overseas. This strikes me as strange. I have no real opinion on this as I don't like getting caught up in these sort of politics, but I think M$ should just let it go, or simply ask for a pension from Lindows for using their 'supposed' name.
  3. UncleGemboel

    UncleGemboel TS Rookie Posts: 36

    eem another strike from M$, i see how greed M$ now, they never let any OS stand in their way. Hope Linux can stand against M$ attack.
    I think M$ must focuse their power to make a better OS which much faster, SECURE, and much little bug!
  4. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    The name "Lindows" just makes it sound like the cheap knock-off of Windows it really is. I don't see how anyone could merge any major characteristic of Windows in with Linux, they are completely opposite ends of the scale. The name "Lindows" obviously sounds like it's trying to leech off of the Windows name, so I agree with Microsoft. But, using the name "Lindows" is just their loss anyway. Now, if they came up with a new and original name, and not just stapled the names of the two top competing OS's together, then it might be a different story. I won't use "Lindows" because of the name as well as I'm sure it's a poor quality product anyway.
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    "Lindows" is indeed named the way it is because of Windows, but it is an obviously different name.

    It might be court worthy if it were Windoze or Win-Dows.

    What it comes down to is the consumer researching what they are getting. If they don't know the difference between Lindows and Windows, that is their fault. They are spelled differently and sound different albeit simliar.
  6. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    The only people who might get the two confused are maybe the gullible people who buy those miracle cure products off infomercials. I know that the average consumer is fairly ignorrant when it comes to what to buy for their computer, but I think they can clearly see the difference. If they make them drop the name, it is a clear insult to the intelligence of consumers.
  7. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I was quite shocked at first when I read about this, but after reading the court verdict from Sweden, I can at least understand the reason there...

    Lindows was planning an ad compaign right around now, and MS asked that they should not be allowed to use the name Lindows until the case had been heard (which is in April I think)... That way Lindows wouldn't be able to gain acceptance for their name until it was decided in court if they could use the name or not.
    There has also been posted 3 Mill SEK in security for any damages that Lindows might have due to this court injunction.

    The Register has a good story about it here with the entire court statement at the bottom (and it's in English)...
  8. Qun Mang

    Qun Mang TS Rookie

    Though I know where it comes from, I have never liked the name "Lindows." To me it sounds like a speech impediment (as in replacing certain sounds like "r" with "l"). I have not tried Linux for several years, though I often think about it. Lindows does not even come to mind as a potential candidate for my hard drive.

    I think Microsoft should play a waiting game until stories come out about people being duped into getting a Lindows system thinking they were getting a MS based system. At that point they will truly have a case.

    More on topic, I wonder if Lindows will actually change the name for Sweden and Finland, or just forget about them hoping that if people want Lindows they will just import it from other countries. After all, they are only two countries of many on the continent.
  9. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Gosh let it go, Lindows is different from Windows so whats the big fuss? I recon this case is redicious and Lindows should be able to keep its name :evil:
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    No point whining, this is the law. It's not like they have some really MS friendly judges over there or sth.

    Trade mark law says that you cannot use a trade name similar to a registered one that could cause confusion. It just happens that the courts in Sweden and Finland found that the names Windows and Lindows are too similar.

    Besides, if Lindows really wanted, they could appeal all the way up to EU level.
  11. MoRulez

    MoRulez TS Rookie Posts: 65

    How do European courts work? Are all the countries united under one EU Constitution or Criminal law or is the only unity in the economy?

    Im asking because if there is no unity between the countries for the court system, Lindows does not need to worry since, I figure, the big markets aren't in the Sweden, etc. but in France, Germany Britain....

    So they can hopefully maybe be allowed to use the name in other jurisdictions
  12. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    I didnt know there was a trademark law such as that :blackeye: Too bad...
  13. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Actually I think they're most likely biased against MS. Europe isn't exactly laissez-faire free-market capitalism at it's best, mainly because they're all communists anyway ;) . I don't think they'll let this one go, though.
  14. inphlict

    inphlict TS Rookie

    This is exactly why everyone hates Microsoft, they crush anything in their way by any means and they always have money to back it up. :(
  15. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Yeah I'd say that about sums it up :D
  16. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    What are you talking about? MS crushing anything in their way by any means necessary? It's not like they're buying the rights to *nix, even though they consider it a serious threat. They're not harassing Logitech because they make better mice that compete with the IntelliMouse. They're simply asking for another company not to leech off of the Windows name.
  17. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    I think they should rename Lindows to Linux XP. :)
  18. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I think Linux is having a hard time as it is with the SCO case, let's not make things worse.:blackeye:

    PS. It's odd AMD has never been sued over AthlonXP & Athlon64-FX.;)
  19. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I think the reason that MS hasn't messed with AMD over the XP use is because of AMD and MS working closely when Windows XP was being developed.
  20. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Every country has its own legal system with constitution and all, but EU supreme court is above anything national. So if you have gone through all the courts in your own country, you can appeal to EU supreme court and their verdict will overrule the local decision.
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    hmm nods...

    I'm not sure that is a good thing.

    I mean, someone convicts someone of a death sentence, what happens.
    what if one country disagrees....
  22. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I would say that chances are if someone get's convicted to the death sentence it is probably for something pretty harsh (like spamming people :) j/k) I'm not sure how easily something like that can be appealed. But it would definately be interesting to find out.
  23. MoRulez

    MoRulez TS Rookie Posts: 65

    In that case, Lindows might have a better chance in larger markets like France or Britain. Or better yet, go to the EU Supreme Court.

    Here's an article on how the EU is trying to push for open-source software development and gov't use:

    highlights: "The European Commission is placing open standards and open-source software at the centre of its efforts to promote interoperable e-government services with a new working paper introduced.... "

    "Open source software is increasingly seen by European governments as a way of encouraging local software industries, because it is not owned by any one entity, and thus theoretically places small, local developers on a level playing field with large foreign companies."

    Hopefully Lindows might have a better chance in winning a case in the Supreme Court of the EU, than in smaller jurisdictions. MS better not claim that the "Lindows" name is misleading or "confusing" to consumers. Sure, it may SOUND similar, but people know that MS only makes Windows, and anything odd sounding like Lindows is not going to be bought accidently. And besides, it's not like you can't remove the OS and install MS Windows.

    And I'm only hoping the Lindows' people still have enough doe to pay for that appeal to the Supreme Court. :rolleyes: .
  24. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    Lindows will probably have to change their name to Winux. or maybe Lose-ux.

    Microsoft probably intimidated those courts like they did to other courts before. Lindows was probably too similar of a name to Microsoft's product. although Lindows was not that great of a product (just like Microsoft).
  25. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Lindows leeching of the Windows name? Excuse me, but not even a novice would fall for that one...

    Especially since most newbies think they've got Windows MS or something like that...
    (Got a couple of calls when I was doing tech support and when asked what version of windows they had they answered: "MS windows.. What else is there?")

    Anyways, Lindows didn't have a lawyer present at those courts when MS asked for a decree that Lindows should not be allowed to market their name...

    And another point on the windows name, isn't windows a common word? Isn't it used in many other meanings than just MS' product? Doesn't most home contain quite a few of them even if the homes doesn't have a computer? Aren't there other programs out there which uses a gui with windows? And didn't someone else come up with a windows gui before MS? (Hint: MS stole it from apple, who originally stole it from Xerox)

    I seriously doubt that the verdict will hold when it goes to court with both sides present...

    As far as the legal system in the EU goes, isn't it quite like the one they've got in the US? You've got district courts, state courts and supreme court... Not very unlike how it is in the EU, except that you add one more Supreme Court...

    And for the death sentence, it's been a while since we last had a death sentence in Europe.... AFAIK we got rid of it except when there's a state of war, and even then you'd have to be a traitor to be able to be sentenced to death...

    Over to Veh's posts...
    At least you added the ;) to that comment...............

    Anyways, the point you're trying to make about MS not trying to buy up/strong arm any Unix distro's isn't quite true... They do try to get into that market, but have yet to create an OS which has a good chance...
    Windows just isn't flexible and secure enough yet... (And I doubt it'll ever be as long as it's a consumer OS too)
    That, and because it's a quite small market with enough competitors..

    But I think you meant the different Linux distro's...
    And the case is even more obvious there... How do you buy something that is everyones property? GPL doesn't allow you to buy or sell IPO in the regular way... It (more or less) requires you to give what is covered by it away for free... Thus buying up lots of linux IPO wouldn't help you... Also, most of the tech being used isn't owned by a single individual, but rather by a group or an entire society which has helped create it... Which makes buying it even harder...

    And the point about Logitech, well, MS' hardware business isn't in a strong enough position for them to do that.... And if they suddenly created a patch which would only allow MS' peripherials, they'd be sued way into the next century, even with your free-capitalism laws...

    Just look at what happened when they were sued by Netscape... Then multiply that by a factor of 10 and you should be somewhere in the vincinity of what would happen if they tried anything like that...

    IMO Lindows is one of the first very userfriendly linux distros which would be useable by the not-so-computer-literate, as it is built to resemble Windows as closely as possible while not breaking the law... Thus it is in MS' interest that it doesn't gain enough foothold in the market, as that might lead not to just one competitor, but rather a lot of them... Imagine RedHat, Mandrake and other distros going the same, mimicking Windows, and it being available on pre-built machines...
    That is what MS is afraid of imo, and is why they're trying to hamper Lindows in any way possible.
    Of which, trademark infringement is the easiest.

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