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Microsoft's KO vs "Lindows" Name Goes to Appeal

Microsoft's KO vs "Lindows" Name Goes to Appeal

According to a Reuters report, Microsoft's trademark infringement case against Lindows.com - filed in December 2001, saying "Lindows" was a violation of trademark law - will be delayed "so that an appeals court can rule on an issue regarding the timeframe that should be used to consider the case."

The issue, the report explains:

centers on whether the word "windows" is a generic term in the technology industry, or whether Microsoft can argue that Lindows is violating its trademark by using a term similar to that of its Windows operating system

The issue is muddied by the question of chronology. Should the courts consider the situation before November 1985, in other words - at which time the word "windows" was a generic term - or should it consider the present position? According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour said Tuesday he would instruct a jury to consider only whether the word "windows" was a generic term before November 1985, when the first version of Microsoft's Windows operating system was released. But he said he would allow Microsoft to appeal that ruling.

Meantime Microsoft spokeswoman Stacy Drake said that Microosoft would like the court to only consider the present day, and she noted that her company was "pleased that it had been granted its request to take the issue to the appeals court level."

The last word in this particular round goes to Michael Robertson, chief executive of Lindows.com, who said Lindows.com considered it a victory that the District Court judge would want the jury to consider the pre-1985 period.

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