Feeds

Astérix whups MobiliX

Reverse in Gaul legal brawl

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

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The case is indeed important, not least because two other companies, Masterix and Skrobelix, have already withdrawn their names to avoid legal costs.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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.