Lindows.com will change its name outside the US instead of fighting Microsoft in international courts.
Lindows.com will unveil its international name next week, said Michael Robertson, founder and chief executive officer of the Linux supplier.
The move comes after a US judge denied Lindows.com's request to stop Microsoft from pursuing it outside the US.
Microsoft sued Lindows.com in the US in December 2001, accusing the company of infringing its Windows trademark and asking the court to bar Lindows.com from using the Lindows name. The company lost two requests for an injunction in the US and the trial has been delayed.
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The software supplier has won injunctions in Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands and is pursuing the case in France, Spain, Canada and Mexico.
"The goal of these actions is very simple, we're only asking that Lindows change their name and compete with a name that is distinctly their own and not such an obvious infringement of our trademark," said Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake.
Lindows.com is changing its name to assure that it can continue to do business globally, Robertson said. It is the only way to respond to an onslaught from Microsoft. The company's US name will not be changed.
The battle with Microsoft in US courts could take as long as two years, said Robertson. Lindows.com hopes to get "windows" declared a generic word.
If successful in the US, Lindows.com will petition foreign governments to invalidate Microsoft's Windows trademark.
Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service