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Obelix versus MobiliX: Legal Response Online Now

Jan 25, 2002, 20:37 (2 Talkback[s])

Werner Heuser writes:

In the conflict between Obelix and MobiliX, the legal response of the lawyers Jaschinski Biere Brexl (JBB) is online now.

In November 2001 Werner Heuser, owner of the Opens Source project MobiliX - UniX on Mobile Computers was charged by "Lés Editions Albert René", which is owner of the trademark "Obelix". The charge aimes on a deletion of the trademark "MobiliX" and a compensation fee. Also every commercial use of the name "MobiliX" will be forbidden. Every offense can be charged with up to 250.000 Euro or as a substitute with six months prison. Werner Heuser has taken the lawyers Jaschinski Biere Brexl (JBB) to represent him in court. His lawyers had to work out the legal response until January 21st 2002.

The legal response (PDF, 22 pages in German) is online now. The document describes the origin of the names Obelix (from "obelisk") and MobiliX (from "mobil" and "UniX"). Many well known names are used to show how widespread the suffix "ix" is in the IT business, e.g. often UniX derivates are named by this scheme. This is followed by an analysis of the pronounciation and spelling of the words Obelix and MobiliX, and whether they can be mistaken from members of the IT business or not. As a conclusion the charge is considered void.

Since the suffix "ix" is widespread in the IT community, it seems possible that even more projects will be charged. This case is very important for the Free Software community, too. Therefore the lawyers Jaschinski Biere Brexl (JBB) have agreed to make the legal response public.

The MobiliX site is dedicated to Mobile UniX systems. It leads you to a lot of useful hands-on information about installing and running Linux, BSD and other UniXes on laptops, PDAs and other mobile computer devices. Werner Heuser offers his Linux-HOWTOs and his book "Linux on the Road" there. Besides his work for MobiliX he is a Debian GNU/Linux maintainer.

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