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Diamond MM threatens to sue SuperRio over trademark

Little guy folds, solicits new name

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Withering intimidation in the form of an e-mail from legal eagles representing Diamond Multimedia and disputing the Rio trademark has persuaded a virtual unknown to solicit new names for its portable MP3 player previously known as Super Rio. The little gizmo in question is a hard-drive based MP3 player using an ordinary 40 GB IDE hard drive. MP3 digital music is added through a parallel port interface and power is provided by any 2 amp, 12v power source, such as a car cigarette lighter or a computer power supply. Law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which represents Diamond and its subsidiary RioPort, warned the fledgling manufacturer that their clients "take a very dim view of your actions, and under the circumstances insist that you cease all use of the SUPER RIO mark." They further warn that Super Rio's use of "a domain name so similar to our client's famous and registered trademark to sell competing products has no other purpose than to lure seekers of our client's products to your Web site." The lawyers assure us, however, that their clients are "willing to refrain from taking immediate legal action" if Super Rio should "respond immediately by taking down the Web site and responding in writing confirming your intention to cease all offending uses of the mark." But they go on to warn that "their client's patience is quite short, and they will not hesitate to assert its [sic] superior rights if necessary. We ask that the Web-site be taken down and that you confirm your intentions in within seven days of receipt of this e-mail." Super Rio has decided not to throw its hat into the ring, and is soliciting suggestions for a new name on its Web site. The Register irreverently suggests "Rio Grande". Surely Diamond Multimedia hasn't been around that long.... ®

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