In a potentially striking blow to Microsofts "Windows" trademark, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour issued a preliminary ruling late Friday stating Lindows.com may continue using the Lindows name despite efforts by Microsoft to prove it is confusingly similar to the companys own operating system moniker.
Lindows.com called on the community in January to help rebut Redmonds claim over the term. Although the ruling only covers the preliminary injunction portion of Microsofts suit, Coughenour openly questioned whether the word Windows can be protected under trademark law. "Lindows.com has presented sufficient evidence to rebut the presumption of validity of the Windows mark," he wrote.
LindowsOS is a new operating system capable of running both Windows and Linux applications. Based on Xandros, a consumer-friendly version of Debian GNU/Linux formerly owned by Corel, LindowsOS uses WINE to enable basic Windows compatibility. An initial sneak preview was released at the end of January to poor reviews and accusations of marketing fluff.
To reassure supporters, Lindows.com CEO Michael Robertson has promised a second sneak preview with "big performance and compatibility improvements." Robertson wrote in a recent newsletter, "Sneak Preview 2 still wont be quite ready for use as your daily desktop solution, but it has taken huge strides from the first version. In fact, those of you who want to know more about operating systems, but have been frightened by the daunting task of installing Linux, will want to get Sneak Preview 2."
News source: Betanews
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