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MS trains legal guns at Lindows

Trademark infringement claims

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Microsoft has unleashed its lawyers against Lindows -because the name of the titchy software firm is too similar to Windows.

Customers could "mistakenly conclude that the Lindows product was exclusively or jointly developed by, licensed or certified by, or otherwise sponsored or approved by Microsoft," the company says in a suit alleging trademark infringement.

Lindows is the developer of LindowsOS, a Linux distro which also runs Windows apps. The app is still at the vapourware stage (see this story: Why Newsforge hasn't written about Lindows).

Microsoft wants to settle out of court i.e. for Lindows to change its name. But unlike most small software start-ups, Lindows has a rich backer.

Step forward MP3.com founder Michael Robertson, a man with a talent for soundbites: "All I know is that I'm being sued for unfair business practices by Microsoft. Hello pot? It's kettle on line two," he told Reuters.

The chances of customer confusion over Lindows and Windows are "zero per cent," he says. But it will be awfully expensive attempting to prove this. ®

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