Microsoft 'reaches agreement' in Lindows.com battle

After claiming that Lindows violated its 'Windows' trademark, Microsoft is to pay $20m to Lindows.com -- which will change its name and hand over a clutch of Web sites, according to reports

Microsoft's battle with Lindows.com may be over.

According to reports on Monday afternoon, Microsoft has agreed to pay Lindows.com $20m -- $15m by August 15th this year and $5m by the start of February 2005. In return, Lindows.com will change its name to Linspire and hand over to Microsoft the rights to a number of Web sites, including www.lindows.com.

A Microsoft UK spokesman was not immediately able to confirm this report, which was published by CBS Marketwatch and cited a regulatory filing. A Lindows spokesperson told ZDNet UK that the company could not comment on the story, but that it will be holding a press conference to discuss the settlement at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Microsoft and Lindows.com have been engaged in a legal tussle since 2001, after Lindows launched a version of Linux that would run applications written for the Windows platform. Microsoft filed a lawsuit claiming that Lindows.com was violating its trademark on the word 'windows'. Lindows, though, has insisted that the term 'windows' was generic.

The case between Microsoft and Lindows has been expected to come to trial in the second half of this year.

In May this year, Microsoft lost an attempt to overturn a federal judge's ruling that the term is a generic one if it was generic in November 1985, when Microsoft introduced Windows 1.0.

The Linspire name change has already taken place in some territories.

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