MobiliX - Mobile UniX Site Lost Trademark Case in Second Instance

Werner Heuser Werner.Heuser at
Fri Jan 31 12:27:05 UTC 2003


sorry for the delay. You probably got the bad news from
other sources already. But I was very busy with this legal
trouble in the last days. But now the English press release
is ready, too. Just a few minutes ago I have got a phone
call from the owner of another German site, which has withdrawn
his domain, because he got a request to do so from the lawyers
of Asterix and Obelix. But for me I try to get ready for the
last instance in court. In my opinion the legal threads for
Open Source projects are increasing. And I hope this will end
someday. There are two remedies of which I think already:

- publicity, I dare to say that slashdotting this case
  would not only help me but others, too ;-)
- creating a fund and/or an insurance to help other
  projects under siege


MobiliX - Mobile UniX Site Lost Trademark Case in Second Instance

The written verdict of the appelation court was released now.  Contrary to
the decision of the first court it states that Obelix and MobiliX are
"very similar". Therefore it will be likely that people take one for the
other. It doesn't matter that the suffix "ix" is used very often to name
computer related products, because the names have to be sufficient apart.
Werner Heuser owner of MobiliX ( was charged to
withdraw his trademark and the domain name. He also has to pay a
compensation fee.  His lawyers Jaschinski, Biere and Brexl
( are currently checking whether an appelation to the
highest German court Bundesgerichtshof is possible. Until this decision
the plaintiff will not make use of the verdict.

In autumn 2001 Les Edition Albert René, the owner of the trademark
Obelix has charged Werner Heuser. He is the owner of the wellknown
open source project MobiliX. This project provides a plenty of
information about UniX operating systems like Linux, BSD and Solaris
on mobile computers.  Therefore he has choosen a name, which
expresses this by a combination of the words "Mobile" and "iX".
According to the plaintiff he has choosen a word very similar to
their trademark Obelix, because he wants to take advantage of their
famous name.

A detailed documentation of the case, containing a information
about other projects under siege and the written statements of the
lawyers JBB, is available online
|=| Werner Heuser = Keplerstr. 11A = D-10589 Berlin = Germany
|=| <>      T. 0049 - (0)30 - 349 53 86
|=|         UniX on Mobile Systems: HOWTOs,Software
|=| http://Xtops.DE            Laptops+PDAs pre-installed with UniX
|*| This is no time for phony rhetoric -- Lou Reed

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