Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) has expanded its legal battle against Lindows.com Inc (Lindows), suing the software maker for trade-mark infringement in Canada. Lindows, a California-based software company, and its Canadian distributor, South West Shore Development Authority (based in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia), are named as defendants in an action launched in the Federal Court, Trial Division. In addition to other relief, Microsoft is seeking an injunction barring the defendants from doing business under the “Lindows” trade name.
Lindows produces an operating system based on Linux, but modified to run Windows-compatible software. The product, called “Lindows”, competes directly with Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
The Canadian action involves claims similar to those in suits filed in the United States and Europe. Microsoft claims that the “Lindows” trade name is confusingly similar to the Windows trade-mark, and that this practice is harming the goodwill of Microsoft’s trade-marks in Canada. To date, Microsoft has attained a level of success in three European countries. In Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, “Lindows” is referred to as “Lin—s”.
In the US, Lindows has defended similar claims by arguing that “Windows” is a generic term and that, prior to the creation of Microsoft’s operating system, it was used to describe software that used windows to display information. The US court found merit in this argument, and refused to issue an injunction prior to the outcome of the trial.
Lindow.com’s web site displays information regarding its battles with Microsoft:
News coverage, including links to further information about European rulings can be found at:
Summary by: James Kosa