Psion - Psion and The Term Netbook

Psion and The Term Netbook

Psion registered the trademark NETBOOK in various territories, including European Union Community Trade Mark 000428250 and U.S. Trademark 75,215,401, which was applied for on 18 December 1996 and registered by USPTO on 21 November 2000. They used this trademark for the Psion netBook product, discontinued in November 2003, and from October 2003, the NETBOOK PRO, later also discontinued.

Intel started using the term netbook in March 2008 as a generic term to describe "small laptops that are designed for wireless communication and access to the Internet", believing they were "not offering a branded line of computers here" and "see no naming conflict".

In response to the growing use of the term, on 23 December 2008 Psion Teklogix sent cease and desist letters to various parties including enthusiast website(s) demanding they no longer use the term "netbook".

In early 2009 Intel sued Psion Teklogix (US & Canada) and Psion (UK) in the Federal Court, seeking a cancellation of the trademark and an order enjoining Psion from asserting any trademark rights in the term "netbook", a declarative judgement regarding their use of the term, attorneys' fees, costs and disbursements and "such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper". The suit was settled out of court, and on June 2, 2009 Psion announced that the company was withdrawing all of its trademark registrations for the term "Netbook" and that Psion agreed to "waive all its rights against third parties in respect of past, current or future use" of the term.

Similar marks have been recently rejected by the USPTO citing a "likelihood of confusion" under section 2(d), including 'G NETBOOK' (U.S. Trademark 77,527,311 rejected 31 October 2008), MSI's 'WIND NETBOOK' (U.S. Trademark 77,580,272) and Coby Electronics' 'COBY NETBOOK' (U.S. Trademark 77,590,174 rejected 13 January 2009)

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