Lindows, Inc. has received copies of papers filed against the company in the Netherlands by Microsoft Corporation asking the court to fine Lindows 100,000 euros per day for permitting its website to be reachable by visitors from the Benelux countries (Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg).
“Since visitors to our website come from international ISPs, proxy servers, anonymizers and other methods, it is impossible for us to comply with such a broad order to block all visitors from Benelux, and Microsoft knows this,” said Michael Robertson, chief executive officer of Lindows, Inc. “We have completely withdrawn our products from these markets and put notices on every page of our website, yet Microsoft is still asking that the Judge fine us 100,000 euros per day because non-U.S. visitors can view our U.S.-based website. Microsoft’s actions demonstrate this has nothing to do with protecting their Dutch trademark or confusion in the marketplace, but is simply an attempt to put us out of business.”
Twice, Microsoft has asked US courts to shutdown the Lindows.com website and both times those requests were rejected (www.lindows.com/doublewin). Since then, Microsoft has asked courts in Finland and Sweden to demand that the company block access to Lindows.com. In both instances, those requests were also denied. Microsoft then filed a lawsuit in the Netherlands asking yet again to block access. This time their request was granted to make Lindows “inaccessible to visitors from Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.”
“Microsoft has been unsuccessful for two years in the U.S. and is now delaying that pending trial with appeals while they shop around the world for a court willing to enter a favorable ruling,” added Michael Robertson. “Their software monopoly gives them a virtually limitless legal budget to launch these endless legal attacks and this is another example of Microsoft’s orchestrated attempt to slow the adoption of Linux.”
Lindows has implemented a complete withdrawal from the Benelux market pending an appeal (www.lindows.com/no2benelux) of the original order. A hearing date for this new action has been set for March 30th, 2004 at 1:30pm. Microsoft’s complaint can be found in both Dutch and English at www.lindows.com/dutchcomplaint.