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Lindows.com: Judge Denies MS Reconsideration on Previous Lindows Injunction Ruling

May 16, 2002, 15:28 (17 Talkback[s])


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A Seattle judge, who had been asked by Microsoft to shutdown Lindows.com and block the 35 person company from advertising their competing program, LindowsOS, issued a denial to the software giant this week.

Judge Coughenour wrote in a seven-page ruling that after "examining the evidence with a sharper focus" news articles, advertisements, competitors and dictionary definitions demonstrated that the "consuming public used the terms 'windows,' 'window' and 'windowing' to refer to a type of graphical user interface." The Western Washington District Judge also wrote that through "its own use of the evidence" Microsoft essentially admits that "windows" is a generic term. The Court bolstered that finding by citing Microsoft's own computer dictionary definition, as well as quotes from then Vice President of Marketing, Steve Ballmer, in discussing the introduction of Windows 1.0. To read the document in its entirety, visit www.lindows.com/opposition.

Microsoft had contended that the Court had a "fundamental misapprehension" and had "reached an incorrect result" in an earlier ruling in which the Court stated that Microsoft had raised "serious questions" about the validity of its windows trademark and refused to halt Lindows.com from using both Lindows.com and LindowsOS for its operating system name.

In the latest ruling, the Court found that it "did not err in either its legal or factual analysis when it denied Microsoft's motion for a preliminary injunction" against Lindows.com (http://www.lindows.com).

"Microsoft's attempt to intimidate Lindows.com through legal attacks is part of their ongoing war waged against any potential competitor," said Lindows.com, Inc., Chief Executive Officer Michael Robertson. "This time their strategy has not only failed, but has completely backfired with their windows trademark now being put at risk and on trial. Our goal is to bring choice back to computers in spite of Microsoft's bullying tactics. If we have to go to trial where the word "windows" will be declared generic, we're prepared to do so."

The complete ruling along with selected quotes from the document can be found at http://www.lindows.com/opposition. A jury trial on this issue is slated for April of 2003.

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