A date has been set for the start of the legal battle between Microsoft and alternative operating system developer Lindows.com.
On 27 February a judge in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington will hear oral arguments from both sides. A ruling could even be made at the initial hearing.
"We think it's important to stand up to the bully on the first playground encounter otherwise he'll chase you home every day," said Michael Robertson, chief executive of Lindows.
In mid-January Lindows filed a motion to dismiss the pending trademark lawsuit filed by Microsoft against the company over the use of the term 'LindowsOS'. The Redmond giant maintained that the use of Lindows and LindowsOS will cause consumer confusion with its Windows brand.
But according to opposition papers filed last week, Lindows will now be attacking Microsoft's trademark on the Windows name.
Lindows explained that the case "clearly illuminates Microsoft's true motivations. Over the last 10 years Microsoft has never filed a lawsuit similar to the one it filed against Lindows.com in spite of the fact that there are hundreds of products which use the term 'windows'.
"The fact that Microsoft is targeting only Lindows.com demonstrates that its real motivation is to stop a potential competitor and not that it believes there's confusion concerning our product name."
Lindows hired an independent marketing company, supervised by San Diego State University, to conduct a survey on potential confusion between the two brands, asking over 14,000 likely buyers to participate.
"The results revealed that not even a single respondent was confused," said Robertson. "We have offered a compromise to Microsoft whereby we would continue to use our Lindows.com company name since that bears no resemblance whatsoever to Microsoft, but we would not use LindowsOS as our product name. This offer was not accepted."
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