Feeds

Intel sues Psion over 'netbook' trademark

Chip giant accuses PDA pioneer of dirty tricks

The Power of One Infographic

Intel has followed Dell and launched legal action against Psion to recover 'netbook' as a generic term for little laptops. And it accuses the PDA pioneer of fibbing to US trademark overseers.

In a complaint filed with the US District Court of Northern California earlier this month, the chip giant asks that Psion Teklogix's Netbook trademark be negated. Psion owns the right to the word 'Netbook', having trademarked the term when it created the Psion Netbook handheld computer in the late 1990s.

Fair enough, but Psion no longer makes the Netbook and - as Intel states in its complaint - "the consuming public has already adopted 'netbook' as a generic term for a category of notebook computers that are small, inexpensive and contain less processing power, making them optimal for connecting to the internet (or 'net')."

It goes on: "Netbooks are simply extensions of the notebook category... Psion's allegations [that netbooks aren't generic] must therefore fail."

Intel also accuses Psion of making "false" statement to the US Patents and Trademark Office. Specifically, it claims Psion told the USPTO on 17 November 2006 that it was "using the Netbook trademark 'in commerce or in connection with all goods' listed" in its original trademark registration "and that Psion 'has used the above-identified trademark [Netbook] in commerce for five consecutive years after the date of registration'.

"Upon information and belief, such statements were false as of 17 November 2006."

Untrue? Yes, Intel maintains, because Psion discontinued its last Netbook, the Netbook Pro, in 2003, so it had not being using the trademark for five consecutive years up to late 2006 as claimed.

In addition to badgering US websites who use the word 'netbook' generically, the complaint states, Psion has also demanded Intel stop using with word thus.

The complaint quotes a letter sent by Psion lawyers to the chip giant accusing it "aided, abetted and otherwise induced manufacturers and retailers [to] use the term 'netbook'".

Psion said that 30 million Google page hits found by entering the search term 'netbook' was proof the the word isn't 'generic'.

In response, Intel said Psion had not managed to show one single instance out of that 30 million where anyone had confused today's netbooks with Psion's defunct ones. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.