San Diego-based Lindows.com Inc., a Linux software vendor, announced on Wednesday that it would formally change its desktop operating system name from LindowsOS to “Linspire.”
The company has been facing off with Microsoft Corp. in trademark battles around the world, and it said it renamed its OS product in an effort to end Microsoft’s international legal attacks. The Redmond, Wash., software giant has sued Lindows for trademark infringement over the similarity between the Windows and Lindows names.
Microsoft brought its fight against the firm to Canada in Februaury 2004, when it filed a suit against Lindows.com with the Federal Court of Canada.
Despite court victories in the U.S. and other countries, a name change is still necessary to counter Microsoft’s strategy of suing Lindows around the world, company chief executive officer Michael Robertson said in a statement.
The two companies are still going head-to-head in the U.S. where Microsoft has applied for an appeal over the denial of its injunction requests.
Lindows has said that it hopes to go to trial in the U.S. case as soon as possible and have “windows” declared a generic word. If it wins, Lindows plans to ask the U.S. State Department to petition foreign governments to invalidate Microsoft’s Windows trademark. For now, however, Lindows has become Linspire.
The Lindows name will still be used in certain instances and as the corporate name, the company said.
For product information and purchasing, customers are being directed to a new Linspire.com site. On Wednesday the Linspire site still prominently featured the LindowsOS name.
Another site has been set up for corporate information on the company: www.lindowsinc.com. That site had no content on it Wednesday, save for the small-font moniker “lindowsinc.com.”
In a message posted on the Linspire site, Robertson said that since Lindows has thousands of Web pages and over 100 servers, the transition to the new name will take time.
Lindows’ Linspire metamorphosis is the second time this year that the company has undergone a name change in response to its dispute with Microsoft. Back in Februaury, Lindows.com was forced to change its name to “Lin—s” (pronounced Lindash) in Europe. This program and its Web site, according to Lindows.com at that time, was launched to make its desktop Linux available in countries where “Microsoft has blocked availability.”
A Lin—s.com site was erected especially for people in countries where injunctions were issued — Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux) — although that site also remains empty.
Microsoft representatives were not immediately available to comment on whether the latest name change would end its litigation efforts against Lindows. The company has said previously that the goal of its legal actions has been a name change that won’t obviously infringe on its Windows brand name.
Lindows.com’s presence in Canada is limited to one office in Yarmouth, N.S.