Lindows has won the latest round in its trademark fight with Microsoft, with a Dutch court ruling that it can keep its name for general corporate purposes in the Netherlands.
The Linux distro had lost an earlier case in the Netherlands over the use of the Lindows name and had to change the name of its operating system and its web site to Linspire. However, it kept Lindows as its official company name.
The company originally changed the name of its software to Lin---s, but Microsoft lawyers claimed this was pronounced "Lindash" and therefore bore an "auditive resemblance to Windows". But when Lindash became Linspire, Microsoft again took the company to court, claiming that the word Lindows was still appearing on its website.
So, are we now back to Lindows or not? Well, yes and no. Judge Sj. A. Rullmann yesterday said that "not every use of the business name Lindows infringes on the Windows trademark", meaning that the use of 'Lindows' is allowed only for legal and trademark purposes. So the case becomes even more confusing.
For the final say, we will have to wait for the court case between Lindows and Microsoft in Seattle in the second half of this year. A jury will decide if the word "Windows" is a generic term before Microsoft launched its first version of Windows in 1985. Microsoft has always claimed that Lindows is capitalising on the name of its Windows product, which runs on more than 90 per cent of the world's computers. ®