Judge rules Lindows can keep its name for now - threatens Microsoft with trademark loss

posted Mar 19, 2002

'Microsoft sued Lindows over its name in December. Lindows is capitalizing on the reputation of the Windows brand, the suit said, and its name is confusingly similar to that of the Windows operating system....'

'Microsoft may have received more than it bargained for. Not only did U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour deny the company's request, he also said Microsoft has raised "serious questions" about the validity of its own trademark.'

The second bit is interesting. Microsoft has certainly defended Windows to an extent, with the certification programs and logo programs, but it has also at the same time been fairly loose in allowing other products to contain the word. It's not hard to come up with a list of products with "windows" in the name that Microsoft would probably rather didn't exist, and are clearly in the same trademark domain: XWindows, wxWindows, the use of the generic term 'window' to refer to windows in any number of systems, including the Mac. Plus the use of the prefix "Win", clearly referring to MS Windows, and not always chased down by Microsoft and stopped.

Let the legal fun begin!


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