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Summary:

The “netbook” trademark tussle will play out in court as Psion has responded with a lawsuit to Intel’s legal request that the Canadian company be stripped of their trademark.  The Intel demand (Dell has demanded it too) stated that Psion had abandoned the “netbook” trademark through […]

cavemen_lThe “netbook” trademark tussle will play out in court as Psion has responded with a lawsuit to Intel’s legal request that the Canadian company be stripped of their trademark.  The Intel demand (Dell has demanded it too) stated that Psion had abandoned the “netbook” trademark through non-use, that Psion had falsely claimed they were still using the term in business and that the term had become too generic for Psion to hang on to the trademark in any event.

The Psion countersuit, made available by the Save the Netbook campaign site, answers Intel’s filing with Psion’s own information including sales numbers for the (abandoned) period in question.  Psion is also (unsurprisingly) asking for damages from Intel based on an amount calculated from the profit Intel has made through sales of products under the “netbook” banner.

The Psion suit asks for Intel to turn over the netbook.com domain that was launched by Intel late last year under anti-cybersquatting laws.  They are also alleging unfair business practice on the part of Intel by promoting their products under the trademarked name.  Psion may have a hard time convincing a jury that the term “netbook” had come to be recognized by the public as the Psion laptop as it states in the suit.

It’s clear this is going to get very messy indeed.  It is of particular interest that Psion is requesting a jury trial rather than a court decision.

  1. I think Psion needed to countersue, and I imagine Dell expected. Dell claimed Psion had no right to the trademark, Psion had to state otherwise in emphatic terms. It’s all part of the preamble leading to court.

    As for requesting a jury trial, everyone wants a jury trial. I bet Dell does, too. I figure Dell’s hoping for 12 people who’ve heard of a “netbook” but haven’t a clue who/what Psion is.

    The good news is judges like jury trials, too, usually not wanting to appear to have taken the matter into their own hands.

    So everyone pull up a chair! I’ve got chips and beverages for the show. Between Psion-Dell and Psystar-Apple it’s gonna be a fun time. Oh, and don’t forget the International Grudge Match with EU-Microsoft. :-)

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  2. *Sigh*

    You should put up a vote to see who thinks who will win.

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  3. I’d put my money on Psion because the other camp are having to scrape the barrel it seems. Now Psion have presented some sales figures that blows Intel and Dells case out of the water.
    Its likely that the term is generic now, if only in the tech space (I can’t believe that 9/10 adults in North America know what a Netbook is yet), but its all because of Intel that it has got this bad.
    If I were Intel, I’d get my checkbook out and start writing one with a few zeros on the end to finish this off quietly.

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  4. Joe – Psion’s revenues pale in comparison to Dell’s? What in the name of all that is good, are you talking about.

    Dell and Intel can bury psion in legal costs

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  5. GoodThings2Life Sunday, March 1, 2009

    Maybe it’s different up in Canada, but aren’t jury trials for criminal cases?

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  6. I’m with Psion on this one and hope they win. Intel and Dell seem to bully a little guy while Psion has a legitimate right to protect their property. After all, why the name “netbook” is such important? Just call it a mini laptop or notebook and move on.

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  7. The whole thing will drag on over years if Intel and Dell play it hard, it will cost millions and in the end somebody will snag up Psion just to end it.

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  8. Whatever happens, I just want a remake of a Psion Series 5 with an atom inside.

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  9. When did Asus first launch the Eee? Sep 2007 or there abouts?

    By june-july last year, they were called netbooks, what too Psion so long, if they believe that they have a case?

    If they are actively marketing their “netbook” then why haven’t they already grabbed the netbook.com domain 5 years ago, or whenever it was that they launched it? Unless they have the canadian (if they are a canadian company :-) or UK (they were big in the UK in the nineties, I believe, but not many competitors) domain, I think they should have acted sooner.

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