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Summary:

Since posting Psion’s response to the Intel/ Dell trademark scuffle I’ve been asked to post the Psion NetBook Pro promotional flyer.  Here it is (click to enlarge):

Since posting Psion’s response to the Intel/ Dell trademark scuffle I’ve been asked to post the Psion NetBook Pro promotional flyer.  Here it is (click to enlarge):

 
  1. Pretty skinny. I count one (r) symbol and no attribution for that trademark. They also don’t respect other’s trademarks such as Windows (r) etc… but most damningly: no respect for Intel trademarks. Intel should love this cut sheet when their lawyers get it.

    I also note the curious lack of a copyright notice for the cut sheet itself. No dating at all on it.

    And of course there should be some truth in advertising on this thing. Instead of “specifications are subject to change without notification” it should more accurately state “specifications are subject to change if we ever start manufacturing again.” :-)

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  2. This is getting ridiculous. Look at how dated those specs are; Psion clearly hasn’t updated this product for years. Windows CE 4.2? (Windows CE is now on version 6.0.) 128MB SDRAM? USB 1.1? Internet Explorer 6.0? Sheesh.

    If Psion is still selling this device as they claim, they must have either incredibly lazy/slow engineers or really stupid customers for buying such an out-of-date product!

    Of course, how up-to-date the specs are isn’t a concern of the USPTO. Psion just needs to show that it’s still actively selling this product (and thus actively using its trademark). What’s ironic is that Psion isn’t doing itself any favors by trying to keep the “Netbook” name associated with its sad little device; it would behoove them to fit their product into the exciting new netbook category that has taken the industry by storm.

    No matter what the USPTO decides, I don’t seen Psion coming out on top of this one.

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  3. Pretty laughable. No matter how vertical your market is, the sales manager who sold “millions” in revenue on this product as recently as 2006, deserves to be knighted by the Queen.

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  4. I don’t know… Despite older tech, 2006 isn’t so long ago and this is clearly branded as THE Netbook. Although it is listen on their discontinued page. Given all the “netbook” hype lately, you have to assume they’re going to ride that wave. Which they probably own.

    http://www.psionteklogix.com/products/discontinued-products.htm

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  5. GoodThings2Life Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Scotty has pretty much summed up all my thoughts, so yeah, Psion = Epic Fail.

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  6. I agree that Psion should just move on. I don’t think they’re even the Psion that gave us the marvelous device that was the Revo; trademark got purchased or something (irony?).

    That being said, I’d like to point out a few things:

    1. It’s not Windows CE 4.2 but rather CE .NET 4.2, a rather different beast.
    2. We are not on CE 6. Windows Mobile 6/6.1/6.5 is based on CE 5. Yup, just Windows Mobile 5 with some tweaks.
    3. Industry doesn’t need superquick, flashy electronics. They need something reliable.
    4. The device is still being sold, not manufactured. This is supposedly because they couldn’t procure the power controllers that they used (perhaps they were EOL’d?). Why they still have a large stockpile of these is a different question altogether.
    5. Please find another device around the same size and weight with a touch-typable keyboard that runs 8 hours and is capable of instant on. Oh, it also has to be compatible with existing CE programs or east to port those to the device, AND the device should also be able to behave as a thin client.

    Back in college – years ahead of the netbook fad and when mini-notebooks started around $1500 or more – I tried to buy one for notetaking. They were still pretty expensive, so I ended up with an HP Jornada 720.

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  7. @bluemonq:

    Not to split hairs with you, but how is CE .NET different from CE using managed code? The way I understand it, “CE .NET 4.2″ is the same as saying “Windows CE 4.2 with .NET extensions.”

    Also, I think you have your understanding of Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded CE a bit backwards: we are indeed on Windows Embedded CE 6.0, but Windows Mobile 6.0/6.1/6.5 are built on Windows Embedded CE 5.0. Architecturally, that’s not the same as saying “we’re still on Windows Mobile 5.0.”

    Anyhow, more to the point, I’m glad we both agree Psion should just move on. :)

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  8. Why the hell is Pison is still around? How big is their office now? Like 10 people?

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    1. Psion has been selling Windows CE-based specialized handheld units for years.

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  9. That’s nice, but it’s *not* what they submitted with the 2006 “Declaration of Use and Incontestability”.

    In any case the big news is Intel counter-sued by Psion in “netbook” trademark lawsuit; jury trial demanded.

    StN

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    1. Who said this flyer was what they submitted in 2006? From what I was told it’s their current flyer which is immaterial in any event.

      It’s not surprising they have counter-sued Intel, what else could they do? They’ve been legally put under the gun by Intel and Dell and it seems only logical that they must respond.

      The big question that I’m starting to ask myself is what purpose your Save the Netbooks campaign really serves? Why do you care about this, that’s not something I understand.

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    2. James, you’re not the only one to question our motives (bearing in mind there are now over 200 of us) – but I can assure you that it is nothing untoward about it, no conspiracy to be found, just a genuine grassroots campaign to protect consumers. It’s human nature to assume that there’s more than meets the eye (there often is with such campaigns, especially in the IT industry) but if anything it is more a statement about the poor state of intellectual property protection and may well grow into a more general campaign to counter IP abuse.

      You’re probably aware that the founder revealed Dell’s attempt to trademark “cloud computing” last year which had been allowed by USPTO and would have proceeded to registration were it not for the resulting uproar. So far as we’re concerned this is very similar and even though Intel may end up answering for pushing the term “netbook” from early last year (“conspiring with, aiding, assisting or abetting” in Psion’s filing) we believe that the term is now in the public lexicon and there to stay.

      There is no doubt that upholding the trademark will hurt consumers, primarily by causing confusion (which is what trademarks are intended to prevent). For example earlier today Wikipedia’s “netbook” article (the #1 search result for the term) was moved to be replaced by the Psion netBook article; your average consumer does not expect to see a specific, discontinued product when looking for a “netbook”. The result of enforcing the term would essentially be that consumers searching for a “netbook” would get something different to what they expected at an almost certainly inflated price (why not when you have a monopoly, remembering that Psion’s netBook previously retailed for over five times that of the average netbook today).

      It’s not for us to decide if Intel should be punished for their role in the otherwise organic growth of the term, but we do believe that for the sake of fair competition and ultimately the consumer it should be declared generic and free for everyone to use. Declaring that bloggers and journalists (but not manufacturers and retailers) can use the term freely does not go anywhere near far enough and could well constitute reason in itself to invalidate the mark (usually trademarks must only be licensed with quality control restrictions).

      StN

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  10. Hi,

    Hoover is a trademark; It is also a generic common term for vacuum-cleaners (see: dyson).

    There’s nothing preventing duel use ias a single companies product, and more common usage by journalists and users.

    Why should Psion have to lose out, in what was sincerely invested in and protected at the time, for the benefit of its commercial rivals.

    Kind regards,

    Shakir Razak

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    1. Nobody ever said Psion has to “lose out” on selling netbooks – they’re welcome, nay, encouraged to do so (their devices are awesome, if expensive).

      What we’re saying is that they can’t go around taxing everyone else (or indeed denying them altogether) for doing the same.

      StN

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