Court decisions made on two Linux cases

* Microsoft settles with Lindows; DaimlerChrysler wins against SCO

A couple of Linux-related court cases were recently put to rest, and the outcomes could be viewed as mixed for the Penguin-concerned parties involved in each respective litigation.

Last week, Microsoft agreed to pay off Lindows - with a check for $20 million - to end 36 months of legal wrangling over the Lindows company name, which Microsoft says was too close to its storied Windows trademark.

As part of the settlement, Lindows gives up its name - changing it to Linspire - and gives up its lindows.com and .org Internet domains. Lindows had changed its product names to Linspire in Europe last year, when a European court sided with Microsoft over cases brought up in several European countries. Lindows must change its name entirely to Linspire by Sept. 14.

It looked for a while as if Lindows might have stuck it out in its U.S. litigation, as it overcame Microsoft requests for injunctions in two states.

Additionally, a pre-trial ruling by a federal court would have put this question to a U.S. jury - was the term "windows" a generic term before Microsoft launched its PC software brand in 1985? A tough question.

In other legal news, a court in Michigan dismissed most of the legal claims brought up by The SCO Group against auto giant DaimlerChrysler, claiming that the automaker was violating SCO intellectual property by using Linux. All but one of SCO's claims were dismissed by the court. SCO had demanded that DaimlerChrysler, which uses Linux widely, certify that it had not violated its Unix licensing agreement by using Linux - which SCO says includes stolen proprietary code from its UnixWare software.

In April, DaimlerChrysler requested that the suit be dismissed, saying that it no longer used any software of SCO's and that SCO had no right to demand certifications from the company.

Court decisions are still pending with cases SCO has brought against Linux-user AutoZone, as well as vendors Novell and IBM - the case that started SCO's litigation frenzy.

Learn more about this topic

Court dismisses bulk of SCO's DaimlerChrysler lawsuit

IDG News Service, 07/21/04

Microsoft to pay $20 million to end Lindows trademark battle

IDG News Service, 07/19/04

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