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Microsoft wins Lindows fight in the Netherlands

Vendors barred from selling OS

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Resellers of the Linux distribution Lindows in the Netherlands were ordered today to stop selling the product. Amsterdam judge Rullmann agreed with Microsoft that in many ways Lindows is "profiting from the success of Windows" by infringing the Beast of Redmond's trademarks.

Within eight days Dutch resellers have to stop promoting and selling any Lindows product. The Californian company isn't even allowed to advertise in the Low Countries any longer and, even more remarkable, the judge has ordered Lindows to make its Web site inaccessible to Benelux-based web users.

Dutch resellers are disappointed by the verdict. However, reseller Mensys said that Dutch consumers will still be able to buy the product from retailers in neighboring countries. "So far, Microsoft hasn't challenged German resellers," CEO Menso de Jong told The Register. "And if Microsoft wants to block access to the Lindows site, I suggest users try the Google cache."

Still, the ruling is a major set back for Lindows. Last year Microsoft won a temporary restraining order in Sweden which prohibits Lindows.com from use of the marks 'Lindows', 'Lindows.com' and 'LindowsOS', pending a later decision on alleged trademark infringement. A judge in Finland also barred Linux vendors from using the Lindows name.

Microsoft also started legal action in France, Belgium and Luxembourg against Lindows.com and Lindows OS resellers.

Lindows CEO Michael Roberson hasn't responded yet to the latest ruling, but told reporters earlier that "Microsoft is using lawsuits as a battering ram to smash Linux, to prevent it from reaching retail stores". ®

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