Intel Corp. and Dell have both sued Psion Teklogix, the company that claims that it has trademarked the word “netbook”, in the U.S. Federal Court and demanded that the court would cancel the registration and allow every computer of microprocessor maker to use it.
Back in December ’08 Psion Teklogix, a maker of rugged mobile computers that once made consumer-oriented devices, reportedly sent a cease-and-desist letter to manufacturers of various small form-factor mobile computers asking them to stop using the term “netbook” as “netBook” is a registered trademark of Psion that was used to market ARM-based computers of sub-notebook size with limited functionality.
At this point of time Psion Teklogix no longer manufactures any netBook-branded computers and the term “netbook” is widely used to describe a presumably inexpensive personal computer that is designed for very basic tasks, such as email reading, Internet browsing and so on. Naturally, neither Intel, which Atom processors power the absolute majority of netbooks, nor Dell, the world’s second largest maker of personal computers, want to stop using the term “netbook” as it describes the class of devices just perfectly.
“We think ‘netbook’ is a generic term used to describe a broad class of computing devices, much like the term ‘notebook’ or ‘ultra-mobile PC’. It is widely used, all over the Internet and more. We are just asking the court to agree with us, that we have a right to continue to use it. Meanwhile, we continue to use it, as do many others,” said Bill Calder, a spokesman for Intel.
Dell said in its lawsuit against Psion Teklogix that the latter had not used the netBook brand for over five years and it was not evident that the company would like to resume shipping products under that name; that the term “netbook” had become generic name for small and inexpensive laptop computers; and that Psion Teklogix mislead the U.S. Trademark Office when it prolonged the registration of the netBook trademark in late 2006.
Psion Teklogix has not yet issued any comments on the matter.