Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Dell Aims to Free "Netbook" for All

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

A software developer who claims the trademark on the word netbook would like us all to stop throwing the term around freely, but Dell isn’t about to comply.

Netbook, the term given to small, sub-notebooks that are made for short-term, network-enabled, portable experiences is trademarked as property of Symbian OS developer Psion. Specifically, the company claims rights to “netBook,” after its own products that haven’t been on the market since the earlier part of this decade.

Google even respected the trademark and decided not to advertise netbooks with the term “netbook” on its network.

Dell isn’t having any of that, however, and filed a petition for the cancellation of the trademark. Dell argues that Psion is not, and has no plans of, making use of the trademark, thus abandoning the trademark.

Dell also poses that “the term ‘netbook’ has been widely used by computer the media, and consumers to refer to a subset of ‘notebook’ computers are small inexpensive.”

We’ll keep you posted on just who will get to use the term “netbook,” but until any solid decision is reached, we’ll still be using it full time.

Discuss
Display all 16 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 1 Hide
    resonance451 , February 23, 2009 5:32 PM
    I'll still be using it regardless. PS - Symbian OS is garbage.
  • -3 Hide
    bustapr , February 23, 2009 5:43 PM
    Psion OS sucks and havent done anything for about a decade. And no matter what they do , people will always call those mini budget laptops "netbooks". So dell shouldn't waste time with all that crap.
  • -1 Hide
    bustapr , February 23, 2009 5:46 PM
    The company is so crappy that I mistaked "Symbian OS" for "Psion"(the home world of the Matrix movies). LOL
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , February 23, 2009 6:29 PM
    Didn't Dell try to trademark "Cloud Computing" or something like that, even though their own products have nothing to do with "cloud computing" as we know it?

    People think of tissues as Kleenex. People think of cotton swabs as Q-Tips. These are examples where trademark has strengthened a product image. Psion doesn't even have products, so how they can make a claim to "netBook" is beyond me.
  • 1 Hide
    grieve , February 23, 2009 6:54 PM
    This is the first time I have heard of stripping a trademark from a company, I never knew this was possible.
  • 1 Hide
    m3kt3k , February 23, 2009 7:26 PM
    YOu can strip trademarks. It actually boils down to did they defend it in the beggining. If the firts real netbooks carried the name and Symbian didnt sue them they in essence let the trademark go. They have to sue everyone that uses the term to hold the trademark. Thus when Trump tried to Trademark "Your Fired" he lost as he was instantly sued by a small pottery shop in the midwest called "Your fired".
  • -4 Hide
    Maxor127 , February 23, 2009 7:38 PM
    In essence, this means Dell is too dumb, lazy, and uncreative to think of a different name.
  • 0 Hide
    Master Exon , February 23, 2009 7:51 PM
    Maxor127In essence, this means Dell is too dumb, lazy, and uncreative to think of a different name.


    Either that, or Dell is fighting for the entire market's rights to use the name of their product's markets alongside their product?
  • 0 Hide
    plbyrd , February 23, 2009 8:26 PM
    It's irresponsible for the media to willingly flaunt a trademark. It's a slippery slope; if the media isn't willing to abide by intellectual property law, doesn't it stand that they have to footing for attempting to enforce their own intellectual property rights?
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2009 8:50 PM
    Intellectual property rights are stupid. Too much is done today in the name of preserving "IP". If people weren't so unwilling to share knowledge and information (due to greed) industry would really boom and the human experience would be enriched for everybody. There was a time when only the elite could read the bible...
  • -2 Hide
    m3kt3k , February 23, 2009 10:15 PM
    Hey lonewaffle can you send me all your money since most bussness is based around IP in someform im sure your paycheck is aswell. UNLESS you live with mom and dad and are to lazy to get work.
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , February 24, 2009 2:26 AM
    It's a valid trademark, and Psion netBooks were still on the market as recently as 2005, while they were also using the name for accessories to the line. The term "netbook" didn't catch on with the tech media until just last year, so Psion could have conceivably been evaluating their legal options before acting. I doubt you can "fail to defend" a trademark in the space of a single year and lose all rights to it, that'd place a prohibitive burden on the trademark's owner.
  • 0 Hide
    ohim , February 24, 2009 6:12 AM
    Humans ... how stupid can you be not to be able to use a word ... wow powerfull invention .. a stupid word let`s trade mark it fast make some $$ later.
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , February 24, 2009 1:58 PM
    ohimHumans ... how stupid can you be not to be able to use a word ... wow powerfull invention .. a stupid word let`s trade mark it fast make some $$ later.

    You can use the word "netbook" all you like, as a consumer. If you try to market a product called a "netbook," however, that's when you start running afoul of IP laws. It's called a trademark. Imagine if any comic book publisher were allowed to create any new crime fighter and call it "Batman," with the Batman logo and everything?
  • 0 Hide
    aracheb , February 24, 2009 3:59 PM
    WheelsOfConfusionYou can use the word "netbook" all you like, as a consumer. If you try to market a product called a "netbook," however, that's when you start running afoul of IP laws. It's called a trademark. Imagine if any comic book publisher were allowed to create any new crime fighter and call it "Batman," with the Batman logo and everything?


    thank you for the comment and helping eliminate some stupid comments..

    no comment is clearer than this one..
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2009 10:28 PM
    So, is psion going to sue all people who use the word 'netbook' wrong?
    Teh!
    Try to find me! :p