Lindows plans US gov backed global assault on Windows trademark
Using Commerce Dept programme covering English generics
If it emerges victorious from its current litigation with Microsoft, Lindows.com intends to use a US Department of Commerce programme to have Microsoft's trademarks of Windows invalidated worldwide. The company is being pursued by Microsoft in those countries where a Windows trademark has been granted, and is arguing - it says, as a matter of survival - that a US court should order Microsoft to suspend these actions pending a resolution of the US case.
The Lindows.com pitch is relatively simple. It says that Microsoft has repeatedly engineered delays in its US case against Lindows.com, where Microsoft has not been granted a preliminary injunction, but is aggressively pursuing action elsewhere, where the TM ground is more fertile. The continuation of those actions, says Lindows.com, will force it to change its name, and thus the US court and jury will never have a chance to consider the case.
Lindows.com will cite precedents for US federal courts to take action of an extraterritorial nature in regulating US companies, and argue that the courts can block the enforcement of English generic trademarks abroad. Which is where Windows(TM) comes in.
At the close of the US litigation, Lindows.com says it expects to have a judgment invalidating the Windows trademark as generic. It then intends to protest the trademark abroad under the Department of Commerce's programme covering the use of English generic words. This is intended "to protect foreign markets for American products and services by opposing the registration by foreign governments of trademarks which are generic terms." Microsoft could therefore lose the Windows trademarks it has, in attempting to enforce them against Lindows. ®
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