MS battle with Lindows moves to Europe

The trademark dispute between Linux-based software vendor Lindows.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. has moved to Europe where Lindows Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Robertson said he is on a tour this week meeting with resellers who have been caught in the crossfire.

In a note posted on Lindows' Web site, Robertson said he was flying to Amsterdam Monday to meet with partners who claimed to have received letters from Microsoft asking them to stop supporting Lindows products and threatening legal action if they continue to carry them.

A Microsoft representative in Amsterdam refuted the claims Tuesday, however, saying that although the company has expanded the trademark case to the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden, it is not targeting individual Lindows resellers.

The European trademark dispute is an extension of the company's U.S. case, the representative said.

Microsoft originally sued the San Diego, California, Linux vendor in late 2001, claiming that the company was infringing on its Windows brand name. Trial of the case is slated to take place on March 1 of next year.

Lindows sells an operating system called the LindowsOS and despite the company's ongoing legal battle, it has been sewing up deals with a number of retail partners and PC vendors. Lindows has said that Dutch and Swedish users have been some of the quickest to take up its products and that it is particularly concerned about an extension of the trademark battle in Europe.

Microsoft lawyers in Europe were not immediately available to comment on the status of the case.

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Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
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