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Lindows cuts a dash in Europe

Linux supplier Lindows.com has changed its name in several European countries to Lin---s, pronounced Lindash, following court orders barring the Lindows name.

A new www.lin---s.com website has been created especially for people in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden.

"This was in direct response to the court order barring us from the Benelux regions," said Lindows spokeswoman Cheryl Schwarzman.

An Amsterdam District Court judge ruled in late January that Lindows.com's use of the terms Lindows, LindowsOS and Lindows.com violated the Benelux Merkenwet, the branding law for Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Microsoft won preliminary injunctions barring Lindows.com from using the Lindows name in Sweden and in Finland. However, Schwarzman claimed there is no legal barrier preventing Finnish citizens from buying from Lindows.com.

After several legal setbacks in Europe, Lindows.com last week claimed a victory in its US battle with Microsoft. A court in Washington said that if the case came to trial, it would instruct the jury to consider whether "windows" was a generic term before Microsoft introduced software with that name in 1985.

Microsoft has insisted several times that its pursuit of Lindows is about only the Lindows name, and not about its competing operating system. A Microsoft spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Lindows' new name.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service


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