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A US outfit has been caught using rivals' trademarks in its Linux Web site metatags.

US-based Guardian Digital inserted words such as "redhat", "va linux" and "cobalt" into the metatags on its site for its Engarde Linux product.

The company also used the word "smoothwall" - which is the name of a British Linux-based firewall designer.

Smoothwall founder Richard Morrell was none too pleased when he discovered the company's trademark being used in the metatags, and threatened to take the matter to his solicitor.

"They are directing potential consumers to rival products," said Morrell. "It's unethical and it's wrong."

Guardian Digital CTO David Wresk today said the words in the metatags were "an oversight".

He said the use was not intended to be malicious, and promised that the metatags would be taken down by the end of the day.

Smoothwall had not contacted the company directly, according to Wresk, who added: "They're making a bigger deal out of this than they should have."

Morrell did not agree. "This is bad business practice. It is something that the whole industry needs to work with," he said. ®

Related Links

Engarde Linux site
Smoothwall site

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