Openera loses court battle over Linux trademark

Linux Australia Pty Ltd has failed to gain control over a trademark and a domain name that was once linked with the company, after taking legal action in a South Australian court last week. Linux Australia Pty Ltd -- currently trading as Openera -- applied to Adelaide's district court for a legal injunction to force two estranged former business partners to hand control of the items back to the company.

Linux Australia Pty Ltd has failed to gain control over a trademark and a domain name that was once linked with the company, after taking legal action in a South Australian court last week.

Linux Australia Pty Ltd -- currently trading as Openera -- applied to Adelaide's district court for a legal injunction to force two estranged former business partners to hand control of the items back to the company.

However, according to the one of the former business partners, Suzannah Williams, the court rejected the company's application late last week, including a gag order stopping her and business partner David Probst from talking to the media about the dispute.

"[Linux Australia] Pty Ltd failed in its injunction against us. They tried several points including stopping me from talking to the media about the web site or trademark," said Williams.

Openera director Hosi Stankovic last month said that the pair's refusal to divest their claim to the trademark and the domain name, linuxaustralia.com.au, was threatening Linux Australia Pty Ltd's ability to trade.

Stankovic alleged that the pair was in breach of an exit agreement they signed in July, when they were paid a consideration of AU$50,000 to exit the business.

However, Williams today said that lawyers representing her and Probst successfully argued that Linux Australia Pty Ltd rescinded the agreement two weeks after the document was signed.

Williams also said she had received legal advice that terms contained in the agreement preventing her and Probst from working with in their professions for 20 years were unenforceable.

However, Williams and Probst are still facing a damages claim in connection with the consideration Linux Australia Pty paid the pair in July.

Williams today expressed her dismay over the legal fracas surrounding the trademark and the domain name.

"There has been a lot of underhanded things done by people who should know better, but I'm not going into a 'he said, she said' -argument with them. It will all come out in the wash and I have a clear conscience. All I can say is that Mr.Stankovic can carry on playing his power games but I have better things to do with my time," said Williams.

Williams said she planned to use the domain name for a portal for Linux businesses.