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Community: MobiliX Wins Against Obelix

Jun 14, 2002, 03:00 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Werner Heuser)

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In the hearing on June 12th, the Landgericht Muenchen I court rejected the arguments of "Lés Editions Albert René," thus ending the year-long trademark battle that has been fought between an open source software company and a comic book publisher.

In its ruling, the court stated that the words "MobiliX" and "Obelix" can hardly be mixed up with each other. Also, the work of MobiliX is dedicated to another audience.

MobiliX is a well-known site dedicated to Linux and BSD on mobile devices (like laptops, PDAs, cell phones and more). In November 2001 Werner Heuser, owner of the Open Source project MobiliX - UniX on Mobile Computers, was charged by "Lés Editions Albert René," which is owner of the trademark "Obelix," to release its trademark.

In the publisher's opinion the names Obelix and MobiliX are very similar. The charge sought the deletion of the trademark "MobiliX" and a compensation fee for the publisher.

The case has been discussed in many newsgroups and mailing lists and became a cause within the Free Software community, possibly because there are many projects that have names ending in "iX." Some of these projects have even silently withdrawn their names, because the financial risk of losing a trademark case is high.

The documentation of the case is available online (in German). It includes the letters from MobiliX lawerys Jaschinski Biere Brexl - JBB.