RealTime IT News

Jury Trial Delayed in Microsoft Vs. Lindows.com Case

Lindows.com has won a court ruling that will allow it to review an enormous amount of legal evidence from an old battle between Apple Computer and Microsoft .

Originally slated for April 7, rhe Microsoft-Lindows.com jury trial has been delayed until December 2003, which will give Lindows.com nearly ten months to review more than 300 boxes of evidence.

The ruling was ordered by the United States District Court in Seattle, which told Microsoft it has to produce a massive amount of evidence, as part of its ongoing Windows trademark dispute. The jury is scheduled to begin reviewing the case on December 1, 2003.

Lindows.com contends in legal documents that several computer features, such as windows, icons and menus are not the property of Microsoft, because they are used widely throughout the personal computer business.

Microsoft claims it should be able to main the exclusive use of the word "windows." But last year, the court denied Microsoft a request for a preliminary injunction against Lindows.com.

In that ruling the court said "in its defense of a copyright suit brought by Apple Computer, Microsoft successfully argued that several companies had introduced user interfaces featuring overlapping windows prior to Microsoft's announcement of its Windows product."

Lindows.com, contends "windows" is a generic term, and not the exclusive domain of Microsoft.

The case in question began in December 2001 when Microsoft filed a trademark action against Lindows.com and moved to block the company from using it as its company, or the product name: LindowsOS. But Microsoft failed to convince a court and has yet to establish that "windows" is a protectable trademark.

The Microsoft-Lindows.com jury trial was expected to start in April 2003, but now that a federal court has ruled that Lindows.com will have access to a raft of court documents, the trial won't start until December.