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MobiliX retires, TuxMobil emerges

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The mobile open source project formerly known as MobiliX has a new name - TuxMobil.

The change comes at the behest of a German appeal court, which earlier this month ruled against Werner Heuser, owner of the "MobiliX - UniX on Mobile Devices" project, in a long-running trademark dispute with the firm behind Asterix and Obelix.

Les Editions Albert René claims MobiliX is similar in name to Obelix, a character in Asterix the Gaul, and so infringes on its trademark. It began legal proceedings against Heuser in 2001.

In the hearing in June 2002, the Landgericht Muenchen court found in favour of Heuser. However this decision was reversed when by a German Appelation Court.

It ruled that "Obelix and MobiliX are very similar" and people might confuse the two.

We too can picture the punters searching for an Asterix the Gaul video, landing instead on the MobiliX site, and spending all their money on working out how to get Linux running on their PDAs.

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, and regain control of the MobiliX domain.

"The appelation will take approximately four years. In the meantime the trademark MobiliX can't be used," Heuser tells us.

So his Open Source project has been renamed TuxMobil. The site, as before, provides information about *nix operating systems (such as Linux, BSD and Solaris) on mobile computers.

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Heuser and his lawyers are confident that they will prevail in the end. Victory is important not just for MobiliX but for other projects, such as Masterix and Skrobelix, with trademarks ending on "ix", which have also run foul of Les Edition Albert René.

Many projects cannot afford the financial cost of fighting back, so Heuser carries the torch for the whole community.

Details of the case against MobiliX, including information on other projects under threat, can be found here. ®

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