We knew that Qualcomm wasn’t going to sit by idly while the German company Smartbook AG tossed legal demands over the use of the term “smartbook.” Qualcomm has been using the term to describe small notebook devices running the ARM processors, such as Qualcomm’s own Snapdragon chipset. The restraining order affecting Qualcomm’s use of the smartbook term is only in Germany so far and the company has responded on the situation.
“Qualcomm does not claim and has never claimed to own the term “smartbook,” which it believes is a descriptive and generic term. The term is used by a number of companies, consumers and industry commentators to describe a class of devices that combine attributes of smartphones and netbooks that will be enabled by various technology companies, including Qualcomm.”
They might have a difficult time proving that “smartbook” is generic. The term is not widely used and came into use strictly through promotion of the 3G-enabled mini-notebooks that Qualcomm and others are developing. Qualcomm’s own smartbook web site pushes the “newness” of the smartbook concept.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm is putting this disclaimer in very small print on their own web site:
In the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, the use of the term “Smartbook” in connection with portable computers is reserved exclusively to Smartbook AG, Germany.