Microsoft files new case against Lindows

Software giant asks Dutch court to fine Lindows $118,570 a day

The international trademark battle between Microsoft Corp. and Lindows Inc. continues to generate work for lawyers and the courts, with the software giant once again asking a Dutch court to fine Lindows €100,000 ($118,570) a day, the open source software vendor said Tuesday.

According to the San Diego company, Microsoft is charging that even though it has changed the name of its operating system product and corresponding Web site to Linspire, users accessing the Web site are becoming confused by the Lindows company name in some of the pages on its site. A hearing concerning the request will be held later in the day, Lindows said.

Representatives for Microsoft and Lindows in Europe were not immediately available to comment.

Last March, Microsoft had requested a court in the Netherlands impose fines of €100,000 a day against Lindows for allowing its Web site to be accessed by visitors in the Benelux countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. That followed its court victory in January when an Amsterdam judge barred the company from using the Lindows name in those countries.

In its latest legal move in the Dutch courts, Microsoft is asserting that the U.S. required copyright notice located in small text on the bottom of some of the pages of the Web site will confuse consumers, Lindows said.

Microsoft has been aggressive in its trademark infringement claims against Lindows over the similarity between the Windows and Lindows names. Along with its legal victories in the Netherlands, Microsoft has also had success in bringing actions against Lindows in Finland and Sweden.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, has so far seen less progress in its U.S. trademark infringement lawsuit against Lindows, having last month appealed the denial of its injunction requests.

As with past legal challenges from Microsoft, Lindows contends the move is simply an effort to put it out of business, and in the U.S. is seeking to have "windows" declared a generic word.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.