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Lindows.com is developing a version of the Linux operating system that can run applications written for Microsoft's Windows operating system, as well as for Linux.
Microsoft, in a lawsuit filed in December with the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, asked for an injunction that would prevent Lindows.com from releasing a product that uses the Lindows name. The software maker argued that the yet-to-be-released operating system, to be called LindowsOS, would create confusion for consumers in the marketplace.
Lindows has since argued that it can't be sued in a state that it has never done business in, chief executive officer Michael Robertson said. Lindows filed a motion to dismiss the case on 2 January in which it urged the Washington court to throw out Microsoft's case because Lindows is outside the Washington court's jurisdiction.
At the same time, Lindows filed a complaint against Microsoft in the District Court for the Southern District of California in which it makes a similar claim.
"We have put in a motion to dismiss the case because Microsoft sued us in Seattle and we've never done any business in the state of Washington," said Robertson, "In fact, we've never done business at all."
No one from Microsoft was available for comment.
First unveiled three months ago, Lindows originally planned to release a preview version of its product late last year, but missed that deadline due to the legal action. The development of LindowsOS has been slowed, Robertson said, because the company has been forced to hand over mounds of paperwork related to the case, including its mailing list.
"When you have to stop your work to produce thousands of documents It's a real drain," Robertson said. The company has 22 employees developing and marketing its product.
The case was originally scheduled to go in front of a judge on 11 January but has been postponed until 1 February, Robertson said. At that date, the judge will either dismiss the case or start to hear arguments to determine whether or not to prevent the operating system's release.