Lindows-Microsoft legal spat builds

Lindows.com reported Monday that Microsoft proffered legal papers seeking to disavow California class-action settlement claims submitted via the Linux distributor's MSfreePC Web site.

In a motion filed with the Superior Court of California for San Francisco County, Microsoft asked Judge Paul H. Alvarado to reject all claims processed by the Lindows site, which offers to help people garner benefits from Microsoft's $1.1 billion class-action settlement. In the latest legal filings, the software giant's attorney, Robert A. Rosenfeld, writes that the Lindows site violates the terms of Microsoft's agreement by using so-called digital signatures to process settlement claims. Digital signatures are online validation agreements used to verify individuals' identities.

Microsoft was not immediately available to comment on the filing. In September, Microsoft sent Lindows a cease-and-desist letter regarding the site, in which Rosenfeld said claims submitted using the service would not be honored. At that time, Microsoft also demanded that Lindows remove the site, which the Linux software company continues to operate. The MSfreePC effort offers California residents qualified for settlement benefits the ability to swap the vouchers they are eligible to receive from Microsoft for Lindows software. The Microsoft vouchers can be used to buy hardware or software products from any manufacturer and typically range in value from $5 to $29. The site also promises a free personal computer to the first 10,000 people who buy $100 worth of Lindows products via the MSfreePC site. Using the system, participants authorize Lindows to submit a claim on their behalf and receive whatever settlement Microsoft benefits to which they may be entitled.

News source: C|Net News.com

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