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Lindows Savors Prospect of Going Up Against Microsoft in Court

Lindows Savors Prospect of Going Up Against Microsoft in Court

In anticipation of Microsoft's suit against it for calling itself Lindows finally getting to court in Seattle on Monday December 1, Lindows.com is circulating a Q&A suggesting it's going to be able to wash a whole lot of Microsoft's dirty linen in public on account of what turn up during discovery, albeit decades-old.

Among other things, it's promising to reveal the "highly questionable circumstances" behind the mystery of how Microsoft managed to get a trademark on the generic term windows even though the Patent and Trademark Office originally turned it down - twice.

Lindows has subpoenaed Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, who it says it expects to testify as hostile witnesses FOR Lindows. It's also promising to call members of the old Windows 1.0 development team, William Ferron, the Microsoft lawyer who got the Windows trademark and ex-InfoWorld editor-turned-VC John Dvorak,

Lindows is counting on the Microsoft trademark not holding up. It figures that "No matter what happens at trial, Microsoft will continue to use ‘windows' in its product names. If its trademark is invalid, Microsoft just won't be able to bully smaller companies with trademark litigation the way it did with Lindows.com."

If Lindows.com loses the case, it will have to change its company name and the names of its products.

Lucky for it, Microsoft is no longer seeking damages.

Lindows say Microsoft has hired Karl Quackenbush to prosecute its case. He's the guy who represented Microsoft against Apple and Sun. It's also got Dan Webb, a top trial lawyer who was once a US attorney and an Iran-Contra special prosecutor who has defended Microsoft against various states attorneys general. It's also got William Ferron, who has represented Microsoft's trademark interests for 20 years.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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