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Lindows.com Wins Two Big Rulings

Many of you have told me you were planning on attending our trial in Seattle versus Microsoft in just 3 short weeks. Lindows.com was well prepared to put on a mountain of evidence (some of which you all helped us gather) to demonstrate that Microsoft did not invent the word 'windows'. Magazines, dictionaries, testimony, and competitors' products show that it was widely used before Microsoft selected it as part of their product name. In fact, that widespread use throughout the computer industry was exactly why Microsoft chose it. But you'll want to cancel your travel plans thanks to a new development.

msgavelJust a few hours ago the Judge sided with Lindows.com on two major issues which dramatically changes the momentum in our case (www.lindows.com/genericness). Judge Coughenour ruled that once a word is generic it is always generic and therefore ineligible for trademark status. Microsoft's position is that because they have spent 1.2 billion dollars on marketing and because they have monopoly market share in the PC industry that this had changed the definition of the word 'windows', making it their own word. This position was flatly rejected by the court. Additionally, the court ruled that the time frame to examine to determine genericness is not how the word is used today, but rather before Microsoft began shipping its first commercial copies of Microsoft Windows 1.0. Since Microsoft's first windows product came out in late 1985, we have been collecting evidence prior to that date to present to the jury and now we know that is the precise time period that matters.

Microsoft has asked the Judge if they could appeal his ruling which he is going to allow them to do. I believe they have 10 days to file the appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. I spoke with one reporter who said that Microsoft is claiming a victory with the courts ruling which I find astonishing. You don't appeal favorable rulings and ask for them to be reversed, yet that is what Microsoft is doing. Lindows.com is ready to go to trial. We are ready for a jury to hear the facts, come to a conclusion and abide by the court's ultimate findings. These latest rulings will help us prevail in our case.

Microsoft's appeal is a delay tactic to avoid a trial in the U.S. and allow them more time to pile on lawsuits in other countries to harass us and our partners. Microsoft does not want to go to trial because they have a list of the evidence we are going to present (you are required to turn it over to them in advance) and they know it is powerful. Instead, they'd rather delay the trial and send letters to our partners around the world threatening more lawsuits. We are once again asking you to help us bring choice to the PC industry around the world by making available a limited number of lifetime memberships at http://www.choicepc.com. I hope you'll consider supporting us in this way.

More than two years ago, Microsoft sued Lindows.com at the time claiming that irreparable harm was being done to their business by our use of the word 'Lindows' and asking for us to be immediately shut down. The Judge rejected their request - multiple times. Since then, we've slowly trudged towards a trial with Microsoft asking for delays at virtually every opportunity along the way. If Microsoft sincerely believed that their business was being harmed, they should want an expedient hearing of the issues. Their actions indicate otherwise.

This latest move adds another lengthy delay, but the day will come when Microsoft will be forced to face Lindows.com and desktop Linux. Not just in the courtroom, but in the marketplace as well. Microsoft may be able to forestall that day of reckoning with their money and army of attorneys, but Lindows.com is not going away in spite of Microsoft's tactics and neither is desktop Linux.

-- Michael

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