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Microsoft Sues Lindows.com Inc.

Microsoft Corp. this month sued the San Diego company that is developing the LindowsOS software over alleged trademark infringement.

Lindows.com Inc. is developing a distribution of Linux that is supposed to have a GUI similar to Windows and that will run Windows programs such as Word and Excel.

Microsoft filed suit in federal court in Seattle, alleging that the name is too similar to Windows. The name Lindows will "convey to consumers an association with Windows and unfairly trade off the reputation and goodwill [of Windows]," Microsoft said in its filing.

Leaving aside obvious jokes about any "goodwill" a Windows association might bring, Lindows chairman and CEO Michael Robertson told The Wall Street Journal that any allegation of confusion is ridiculous. "There's not a single person, perhaps outside of the 600 attorneys that work for Microsoft, who can say with a straight face that people will confuse" the two products, Robertson said.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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