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Intel Also Wants to Set "Netbook" Free

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 24 comments

It seems that Dell isn’t the only one looking to strip Psion of its “netbook” trademark. Now Intel’s part of the liberation party.

The Courthouse News hosts a copy of the legal filing from Intel (PDF) with a complaint against Psion for its apparent trademarked term of “netbook.” Intel states that the term “netbook” is now adopted by consumers to refer to notebook computers that are “small, inexpensive, and contain less processing power, making them optimal for connecting to the internet (or ‘net’).”

Intel believes that the term “netbook” is now generic and that the court should cancel Psion’s trademark.

With the likes of computer giants Intel and Dell so motivated free the term “netbook” from the grips of Psion, one has to figure that it’s only a matter of time.

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  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 25, 2009 12:59 PM
    Nice one intel, yes free the "NETBOOK" but only if it uses the atom on your ageing old chipset, LOL you make me laugh.
  • 4 Hide
    FrustratedRhino , February 25, 2009 1:00 PM
    I enjoy reading stories about rights being stripped from people/companies by bigger more lucrative companies... power to the... wait a minute that is exactly what I DON'T like...

    Intel and Dell need to come up with some new term and whine elsewhere...
  • 4 Hide
    skine , February 25, 2009 1:41 PM
    This time i actually agree with Dell and Intel.

    The question is whether the term "netbook" becomes a legally descriptive word, making is no longer the property of the creator. Examples of this are aspirin, brassiere, cola, corn flakes, granola, kerosene, tabloid, thermos, trampoline, yo-yo and zipper.

    There are companies which still hold their registered trademark, despite being commonly used to describe the product in general, such as Band-Aid, Breathalyzer, Coke, Dumpster, Frisbee, Hi-Liter, Kitty Litter, Laundromat, Ping-Pong, Popsicle, Post-it, Q-tip, Scotch Tape, Sheetrock, Styrofoam, Super glue, and Velcro.

    The problem is that the legal trademark holder, Psion, currently has no intentions of marketing or manufacturing a product with the name "netbook."
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , February 25, 2009 2:07 PM
    I would require compensation for a name I have trademarked. Psion has asked these companies to stop using their legally trademarked name. If these companies want to use said name, pay. Everyone else gets paid, why shouldn't they?
  • -1 Hide
    techtre2003 , February 25, 2009 2:18 PM
    How does Dell/Intel or anyone else know for a fact that Psion has no intentions of marketing or manufacturing a product with the name netbook? Has the company actually stated this?
  • 1 Hide
    skine , February 25, 2009 2:49 PM
    According to this article,

    Dell argues that Psion is not, and has no plans of, making use of the trademark, thus abandoning the trademark.
  • 0 Hide
    scarpa , February 25, 2009 2:56 PM
    "Nice one intel, yes free the "NETBOOK" but only if it uses the atom on your ageing old chipset, LOL you make me laugh."

    Quoted for the truth.
  • 3 Hide
    A Stoner , February 25, 2009 3:23 PM
    Hmm, I am pretty sure in 1985 I used the term netbook in a paper written for typinc class. I am rpetty sure it was a typo, but I have documentation that can prove that I actually am the INVENTOR and thus own the rights to "netbook".
  • 3 Hide
    A Stoner , February 25, 2009 3:24 PM
    Please note, that I am now claiming to also have rights to the rpetty and typinc as trademarks of myself. Please remit all payments of large sums of money to me any time you accidently or purposfully use these words.
  • 1 Hide
    mdillenbeck , February 25, 2009 3:37 PM
    A Stoner - sorry, if you didn't register the trademark, your typinc it first means nothing.

    Skine - at first I disagreed with the removal of the trademark, but your simple and logical argument has convinced me otherwise. Unless Psion demonstrates it is going to manufacture a product or product line using the term netbook, they should be stripped of the trademark - in my opinion without compensation.

    Now, to file for the trademark typinc...
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , February 25, 2009 3:48 PM
    A simply search revealed a WikiPedia article about the Psion Netbook, released back on 2003 ( It seems to be that Psion IS utilizing this trademark. Just cause they haven't released a netbook this year doesn't mean they're trademark should be invalidated.

    It looks to me like Psion was one of the first to enter the low-powered, portable Internet and Productivety device market, and that someone probably saw their Netbook, and used the term netbook to describe the similar products that were released in the last couple years. That's like saying "Kleenex" shouldn't be a trademark, just because everyone asks for a kleenex when they want a tissue. Or that Xerox should have to change their company name just cause everyone makes xerox copies instead of photo copies. I have to switch my opinion and side with Psion on this one.
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , February 25, 2009 3:50 PM
    My opinion on this subject is that the companies who want to use the term Netbook should have done this before release their products. Instead they released them and more than likely knew of the trademark and had chosen to violate it.

    Should Psion lose its trademark? Sure if they have no plans on using it. But that doesn't excuse the actions of the others who didn't take the proper steps before hand to use the term netbook. Psion really should seek compensation of such actions.
  • 0 Hide
    jonpaul37 , February 25, 2009 4:41 PM
    Dell and Intel would have originally called it a "Pocket Book" but it was already taken... i'm sad to see that with all the money that Dell and Intel have, they cant pay one person to be creative and come up with a name??? what is this world comming to???
  • 0 Hide
    jonpaul37 , February 25, 2009 5:00 PM
    I cant wait to build computers and call them a "DELLS" and sell them on EBAY, see how they react...
  • 0 Hide
    jonpaul37 , February 25, 2009 5:25 PM
    so let me get this straight, the term "netbook" was trademarked by Psion, but they dont have any plans in the near future to use it, so that means they have to give it up???

    That's like me saying that i bought a toaster, but if i dont use it, i have to GIVE it back??? to hell with that, it's mine, i'll paint it any color i want!!! DAMN THE MAN PEOPLE!!! START A REVOLUTION so that fat-cats do not bully people around!!!
  • 0 Hide
    TwoDigital , February 25, 2009 5:39 PM
    Jonpaul37so let me get this straight, the term "netbook" was trademarked by Psion, but they dont have any plans in the near future to use it, so that means they have to give it up???

    As hellwig pointed out, they DID produce a Psion Netbook in 2003. They produced a product and trademarked the name BEFORE Dell or Intel decided they also wanted to use said name. What else would you have them do to protect their marketing name?

    With a horribly broken patent/trademark system in the U.S. (an inventor actually got a PATENT on a 'time machine' based on junk physics that wouldn't even work) this may be a rare example of a company who is not sitting on registrations trying to just make money sueing people for using their name.
  • 0 Hide
    skine , February 25, 2009 8:03 PM
    This might help out:

    Trademarks rights must be maintained through actual lawful use of the trademark. These rights will cease if a mark is not actively used for a period of time, normally 5 years in most jurisdictions. In the case of a trademark registration, failure to actively use the mark in the lawful course of trade, or to enforce the registration in the event of infringement, may also expose the registration itself to become liable for an application for the removal from the register after a certain period of time on the grounds of "non-use".

  • 0 Hide
    skine , February 25, 2009 8:31 PM
    Not that I'm trying to take the side of the bigger corporations. I'm against Intel for how they're treating nvidia's ion chipset. But from a legal standpoint, it makes sense for them to challenge Psion's trademark.

    I'm actually more glad that Dell and Intel are both challenging the trademark, in the case that one of them tried to take the trademark for themselves.
  • 1 Hide
    grieve , February 25, 2009 9:09 PM
    It does make sense that if you do not plan to use a trademark name, said trademark will be stripped.

    If this did not happen there would be no terms/words left to use…. Everyone would trademark names just too maybe one day cash in.
    It is not a bad idea for Intel and Dell to dump some cash into a kitty for a new name and advertising… They could make the term netbook irrelevant.

    I am trade marking “Fugly”
  • 0 Hide
    AndrewMD , February 25, 2009 11:20 PM
    If I remember correctly, Asus who made this market segment recently, did not use the term "netbook" in advertising. The term was more of a magazine loose term to describe what this type of system could be used for.

    If I remember correctly, it was reviewed and commented it could fit well on the small coffee shop tables while drinking your latte....

    Asus really marketed the small laptop as an EEE PC and now it will use the EEE name for a line of lower cost desktop and laptop computers coming down their pipeline.

    So really, netbook term is the "Xerox and Kleenex" of today.

    Reality is the proper term for these laptops should be Microbooks or Mini-Subnotebook. Although it is not as catchy as netbook, it seems to be the wrong term.

    Most consumer believe "netbooks" are only good for Internet and email which is completely false. It run all applications very well with the exception of games and high cpu hungry applications.
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