SAN DIEGO, May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit denied Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) petition for interlocutory
appeal in its ongoing trademark litigation against Lindows, Inc. The case has
now been remanded back to the Honorable Judge Coughenour of the United States
District Court in Seattle for trial.
"We're looking forward to getting this trial back on the fast track and
presenting our piles of evidence -- videos, magazines, internal Microsoft
documents -- which clearly shows the generic use of 'windows' before Microsoft
commandeered the word," said Michael Robertson, chief executive officer of
Lindows, Inc. "This outright denial of Microsoft's appeal confirms that the
trial will focus on how consumers and the software industry used the term
'windows' in the 1980s, before Microsoft dominated the landscape."
The denial of Microsoft's appeal sets the trial on a timetable to take
place in the second half of 2004 in Seattle, Washington with the Honorable
Judge Coughenour presiding. The trial is expected to last approximately two
weeks with each side having one week to present its case. Witnesses already
designated to testify include Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Michael Robertson.
The appeal stems from a motion Microsoft filed earlier this year on the
eve of trial. Microsoft argued that the jury should only consider the meaning
of the term "windows" as it is understood by the public today. On February
10th, Judge Coughenour ruled that the jury will be instructed "to consider
whether the Windows mark was generic during the period before Microsoft
Windows 1.0 entered the marketplace in November 1985." At the same time, the
Court ruled that it will not instruct the jury to consider the current meaning
if the jury finds "windows" was a generic term prior to November 1985. The
Court's February 10, 2004, Order can be found at www.linspire.com/genericness.
While the Court found in favor of Lindows on this critical issue, it also
struck the trial date and allowed Microsoft to appeal the ruling to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. After extensive briefing by
both sides, the Court of Appeals has now dismissed Microsoft's appeal and left
Judge Coughenour's ruling entirely intact.
The case began in December 2001 when Microsoft filed a trademark
infringement suit and asked the Court to block Lindows, Inc. from using its
company name and its product name, LindowsOS. Since that time, two successive
rulings denied Microsoft's requests for an injunction and raised serious
questions about the validity of the "windows" trademark. A trial date was
scheduled for March 1, 2004, but was postponed due to the appeal. To read
past Court documents, visit www.linspire.com/mslawsuit.
The Ninth Circuit's ruling can be found at www.linspire.com/denied. To be
informed of the trial date once it has been set and to keep up to date on
other developments, please visit www.linspire.com/trialupdate.
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SOURCE Lindows, Inc.