Lindows to court: 'Windows' is generic term

Software maker Lindows.com Inc. said Tuesday that it has filed for a summary judgment in its battle against Microsoft Corp., claiming that the similarities between the Lindows and Windows names do not impede on Microsoft's trademark since "windows" is a generic term for a type of software product.

Lindows, which offers a low-cost Linux-based operating system (OS) which runs a variety of programs, including applications written for Microsoft's Windows OS, was originally sued by the Redmond, Washington, software behemoth last year over trademark infringement claims related to the Lindows and Windows names.

San Diego, California-based Lindows claims, however, that "windows" is a generic term, commonly understood by consumers as a key feature of modern graphical user interfaces. Therefore, Microsoft cannot hold sole claim over the term, Lindows said in its summary judgment request filed Oct. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

"Graphical user interfaces that feature the use of the term 'windows' have, since the late 1970s, been referred to as 'windows programs,' 'windows interfaces,' 'windows systems,' and 'windows managers.' Thus, the term 'windows' has been used as a generic term for a category of computer software products for over 20 years," the motion says.

However, responding to the motion Tuesday, Microsoft Spokesman Jim Desler said, "Windows is one of the most highly recognized brands because of years of hard work and billions of dollars in investment."

"We will vigorously oppose any attempt to infringe on this trademark or have it diluted by copycat brands," Desler added.

Lindows claimed that it has met the burden of proof in rebutting the validity of Microsoft's claims in the case and is seeking a summary judgment on all claims asserted by Microsoft, as well as Lindows' counterclaims.

A Lindows spokeswoman could not give a timeline Tuesday on when the motion would be considered, saying it was up to the court.

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