Lindows to Reveal New International Name

The desktop Linux vendor will unveil its new moniker April 14 after courts in the Netherlands, Sweden and elsewhere ruled that its name, which will stay the same stateside, infringed on Microsoft's Windows trademark and would have to be changed.

Desktop Linux vendor Inc. announced Tuesday that it will begin to change its international corporate name April 14.

The San Diego, Calif.-based company had been ordered by courts in the Netherlands and other countries as well as in Sweden to cease using its name as well as the and LindowsOS terms, which were ruled an infringement on Microsoft Corp.s Windows trademark, but no new name or time frame for renaming had been mentioned. The stateside name will remain Lindows Inc.

The unveiling, as it is called in a letter from CEO Michael Robertson to customers on the Web site, will take place at 1 p.m. PST April 14, when the company will begin migrating its servers and Web pages that service international customers to the new name.

U.S. District Judge John Coughenour proposed a deal between the two companies in late March, but Microsoft turned it down. In return for being allowed to appeal Coughenours earlier ruling that a jury should decide whether the term "windows" was in fact generic before it was trademarked by Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash.-based corporation would have had to halt its attempts to persuade foreign courts to block the sales of Lindows until the U.S. case was decided.

After the breakdown, Lindows requested that the judge issue an injunction to halt Microsoft from continuing its legal campaign against the Linux company in other countries. But Coughenour declined, saying he could see no precedent for a U.S. court enjoining foreign trademark litigation.

Dan Kusnetzky, IDC vice president for system software research, said he doesnt think Lindows.coms forced name change will cause it much trouble.

"Im not sure that the name is that important," he said. "They have already developed quite a following of business customers that want a Linux that their Windows users can switch to easily. Lindows real problem moving forward will be competition from Xandros and other emerging Linux desktop vendors."

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols contributed to this report.

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