Lindows Calls on 'Friends' for Legal Help

Michael Robertson, founder of MP3.com and current CEO of Lindows.com, has called on newsletter members to help his new startup in its legal battle with Microsoft. The software giant has filed suit against Robertson and company with claims that LindowsOS is confusingly similar to its own 'Windows' trademark. LindowsOS, a WINE-enhanced version of Linux, touts the ability to smoothly run many Windows applications - although a preview release originally slated for December has failed to surface.

"We don't think people will confuse our products because they're very different and that the true reason Microsoft is attacking us is because of what our product does and not because what it is named," Robertson said in response to notice of the lawsuit.

In order to win in court and keep the Lindows moniker, Lindows.com must convince a judge that Microsoft has abandoned any claim to 'Windows' by allowing other products to use the name.

In a note to the 'Friends' newsletter, Robertson wrote: "We are composing a list of the many hundreds of products named "Windows Something" or "Something Windows" or even variations on the word windows, which are not from Microsoft. We know there are many, many products that fit this characterization and we could use your assistance to help us create this list."

But those who signed up to the Lindows.com newsletter may not be pleased to learn that the company was forced to turn over their personal details and messages to Microsoft. In order to obtain a trial in Washington, Microsoft must prove Lindows has done business in the state and is using the e-mails as such evidence, according to Robertson.

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