Feeds

Astérix whups MobiliX

Reverse in Gaul legal brawl

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

MobiliX, the Unix on mobile devices company, has suffered a legal setback in its dispute against the French publisher which owns the trademarks to the cartoon series Astérix the Gaul.

Les Editions Albert René claims MobiliX is similar in name to Obelix, a character in Asterix the Gaul, and so infringes on its trademark.

In June 2001, the French company hired German lawyers to go after MobiliX, demanding that it stop using the MobiliX name.

Werner Heuser, owner of MobiliX, refused; and in November 2001 Les Edition Albert René filed suit in Germany seeking to force Heuser to pay compensation. It even asked the courts to consider throwing the unfortunate Heuser in jail for his "crimes", according to his detailed account on the dispute.

In the hearing last June, the Landgericht Muenchen court dismissed the case. Obelix, the cartoon character, and MobiliX are NOT similar, the court concluded.

That should have been the end of the matter but Les Edition Albert René pressed on to appeal. Surely the higher court would back the earlier court's decision? No. The appeal court ruled that Obelix and MobiliX are similar after all.

In a written judgement released at the end of last month, the Appelation Court ruled the "Obelix and MobiliX are very similar" and people might confuse the two.

"It doesn't matter that the suffix 'ix' is used very often to name computer related products, because the names have to be sufficient apart," the judges ruled.

Heuser is consulting with his lawyers, Jaschinski, Biere & Brexl, on a basis for an appeal to the highest German court (Bundesgerichtshof) seeking to reverse this decision.

An appeal to Germany's top court must be lodged by February 27, Heuser told us today.

"I don't know how long it will take for the court to decide whether they allow an appeal," he said. "The case itself will take approximately five years. Until then I have to withdraw my domain."

"But anyway since there are many other cases (three related to Asterix and Obelix) already, which threaten the Open Source community, it's very important to fight back."

There is some good news, however. Heuser has found a sponsor, whose name must remain confidential (for now), to help with mounting legal fees.

The case is indeed important, not least because two other companies, Masterix and Skrobelix, have already withdrawn their names to avoid legal costs.

A detailed explanation of the case and background on the many company which have either iX in their names can be found here. ®

Related Stories

Mobilix whups Astérix
Easy now: Stelios calls to explain his company's behaviour

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.