Robertson's case has absolutely no merit, yet he's spending thousands of dollars in attorney fees trying to shut down Freespire.com. There is no reasonable upside to Robertson in this lawsuit, other than to try and take Freespire.com down, a site which calls into question Robertson's business practices. The sites encourages would-be customers, partners, investors and employees to talk with others who have had prior dealings with Robertson BEFORE deciding if they want to be involved with him.
To see the frivolity in Robertson's attacks on me in this lawsuit, consider the following...
1. To this day, Linspire, Inc. has never even had a registered trademark for the term Freespire.
2. When I was CEO for Linspire, Inc., I filed for a trademark for the term Freespire in April of 2006. However, after I left Linspire (July 2007), the company discontinued pursuing the application and the application was abandoned on January 14, 2008.
3. In January 2008, Linspire was given the opportunity to acquire the Freespire.com domain name, but they declined.
4. AFTER their trademark had been abandoned and Linspire had declined to acquire the Freespire.com domain name, I THEN acquired the Freespire.com domain name. Since then, I have used the site for various things, but mostly to link to my blog about Michael Robertson's despicable behavior, particularly in two areas:
a. How he tried to have several former employees arrested by the San Diego Police Department. He told the police that funds these employees had been paid for severance had been "embezzled" by them. (Fortunately the police and the courts saw through the nonsense and tossed this out.) These were all very good, long-term employees who had served Linspire faithfully for many years, and this was the thanks they got from Robertson--threats, harassment, intimidation, and lawsuits. (Knowing this, why would anyone ever want to go to work for such a person?)
b. How Robertson refused to explain to the 100-some-odd Linspire shareholders what happened with the millions of dollars in cash that Linspire had. It's now been nearly a year since Robertson sold off the Linspire assets in a back-room deal and the shareholders have yet to be given ANY accounting of what happened. (Knowing this, why would anyone ever invest in Robertson?)
Would you want to work for Michael Robertson
and run the risk of being called an embezzler?
and run the risk of being called an embezzler?
5. Only AFTER Robertson found out I was using Freespire to shed light on his greedy deeds, did Linspire THEN file again for a trademark for Freespire, which still has never been granted a registration.
6. Given the nature of the content I put on the site, obviously there was never any confusion that my site was affiliated with Linspire or the Freespire operating system.
7. Because Freespire never had much traffic, the Freespire.com site has had virtually NO traffic.
8. Robertson sold off Linspire, but he went out of his way to keep the right to sue me for the Freespire trademark (which they never even had).
9. As anyone can see, the site is noncommercial. I don't sell or advertise anything on the site.
10. Not one time did Linspire reach out with any sort of communication to me or the Freespire.com website. No letters, no email, just straight to the lawsuit.
11. To this day, no one at Xandros (the people who now own the Freespire OS and have the PENDING trademark application on file) has ever contacted me or the Freespire.com website, or complained in any way about the site. If having the Freespire.com website up is so damaging, why wouldn't XANDROS be suing me? (Perhaps Xandros understands the concept of Freedom of Speech better than Robertson.)
So, in considering all these things, it's pretty clear that there was no confusion, there were no damages, and there's no upside for Robertson in this, so it obvious to me that this is all about Robertson trying to keep me quiet.
If you want to see just how desperate Robertson is to stop Freespire.com, here's the stuff he's requesting as part of this "trademark" lawsuit. (You can also click here for the entire request in pdf format.) To me it's pretty obvious what he's after (besides his normal bury-them-in-discovery nonsense), and that's to make sure the world doesn't find out what he's really like. For example, be sure and check out #6.
I have no intention of ever keeping quiet. People should know the truth about Robertson. Work for him, and run the risk of being called an embezzler. Invest in him, and get left in the dark. Write a blog about him, and well, you just might get sued.
I rightfully acquired the Freespire.com domain name, and I have a right to express my feelings there. Last time I checked, freedom of speech was still part of America, as much as Robertson would apparently like to change that.