Lindows Changes Name in Europe

Following court orders barring the Lindows name, Linux vendor Lindows.com has changed its name in several European countries to Lin---s, pronounced Lindash.

New Web site

By changing its name, Lindows.com can continue to offer its desktop Linux product to citizens of those countries where Microsoft has won injunctions banning the Lindows name, Lindows.com says in a statement.

A new lin---s.com Web site has been created especially for people in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden, according to Lindows.com.

"This was in direct response to the court order barring us from the Benelux regions," says Cheryl Schwarzman, Lindows spokesperson.

Court Action Update

An Amsterdam District Court judge ruled in late January that Lindows.com's use of the terms Lindows, LindowsOS, and Lindows.com violates the Benelux Merkenwet, the branding law for Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Benelux). Lindows looks too much like Microsoft's Windows, the judge found.

Microsoft earlier won preliminary injunctions barring Lindows.com from using the Lindows name in Sweden and in Finland. However, according to Schwarzman, no legal barrier currently prevents Finnish citizens from buying from Lindows.com.

After several legal setbacks in Europe, Lindows.com last week claimed a victory in its U.S. battle with Microsoft. A district court in Washington said that if the case comes to trial, the court will instruct the jury to consider whether "windows" was a generic term before Microsoft introduced software with that name in 1985.

Microsoft has insisted several times that its pursuit of Lindows is about only the Lindows name, and not about its competing operating system. A Microsoft spokesperson did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the new Lindash name.

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