Sunday, March 01, 2009

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Psion aims for Intel's heel


  1. Perhaps justice would be best served by giving Intel a slap on the wrist... at worst treble Psion's entire 'netBook' earnings over the product line's entire 11 year history ($15m)... and invalidating the trademark.

    Given Psion's trademark was more like a minefield in the intellectual property wasteland than a valuable asset for the taking (really, how much of the value of this multi-billion dollar industry was based on the work Psion did building the brand) anything else seems unjust. Upholding the trademark (except against Intel who are probably the only ones against which a claim of infringement could be scratched together) would be particularly unjust to pretty much everyone but Psion.

    It seems more and more likely this was negligent marketing rather than a preconceived attack against a competitor - they could just as easily have avoided all this by using the term "webbook" for example and according to Psion's own figures the consumer netbook only ever sold half a dozen units in each of its first two years.

    Hardly a brand worth "stealing" wouldn't you say, unless your argument is that the value is in the term itself (a portmanteau of "Internet Notebook") which leads us in turn to an argument of invalidation for descriptiveness. Too bad USPTO didn't just declare it descriptive from the start.


    By Blogger Save the Netbooks, at 3/02/2009 04:49:00 AM

  2. So the brand, which is now associated with a "multi-billion dollar industry," wasn't worth stealing? Yeah, those two statements don't conflict in the least.

    As for the obviousness of negligence, not only is negligence not an excuse, but Intel supplied the processor for the Netbook Pro. So what, they didn't check the registry or their own records for the name? In what world does that sound like an excuse?

    As for what you claim would be unjust to everyone, Intel's competitors would disagree. VIA has their own name for the category. AMD doesn't refer to it by name. Seems like dumping Intel's name would be good for competition, which in turn would be good for consumers.

    BTW, I like how the bulk of your argument is now based on a small company not having the reach of a huge one. Why should small companies protect their brands from huge companies that can do so much more with them? Why protect something that isn't worth as much as it could be? Sorry, but I don't subscribe to the "progress at all costs" mindset nor necessarily to your apparent definition of progress.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 3/02/2009 07:38:00 AM

  3. I think you will find that those sales figures are US only... after all thats where this case is playing out. I know for sure that Netbook sold very well in the UK so those figures early on have to be for the US only.
    Good point again Sumocat about the VIA/AMD side, they don't want Intel in full control of the term 'netbook' because they want a piece of that too... Next thing you know, Intel are claiming the trademark for themselves and VIA/AMD are shut out of the marketplace. :-)
    I can't see what Psion are doing wrong here?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/02/2009 08:28:00 AM

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