Intel has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Salt lake City-based Intelspec, LLC.
In its filing, Intel claims that Intelspec uses a "name and mark that wholly incorporates and emphasizes the world-famous Intel trademark." According to Intel, the result is confusion and assumptions that Intel may be the source or sponsor of the goods and services provided by Intelspec - or "that there is an association" between the two companies. Intel also claims that Intelspec dilutes the Intel trademark.
The chip maker is asking for a judgment that would, at Intel's discretion, cancel or transfer all rights to the intelspec.com domain name to Intel. Intel also wants a judgment that forces Intelspec to "cancel or modify" its corporate name, as well as a reward for damages and profits Intelspec has taken because it was using "Intel" in its name.
The suit is somewhat strange as Intelspec is not even remotely active in a segment that would affect Intel's core business. Intelspec is a construction and engineering firm that is, for example, taking contracts for waste management facilities, mining, oilfield infrastructure, as well as military and government construction. Only lawyers may be able to understand how Intelspec could have capitalized in its business by using "Intel" as part of its name.
This one just doesn't look right and it may be common sense to see that it would take quite a bit to confuse a construction firm with a chipmaker, as long as we aren't considering fab construction. In that case, Intel could argue that there may be confusion, but it would be tough to prove that Intel's interests have been damaged as a result of that circumstance. Intelspec does not have a trademark on its name.
However, the trademark suit follows a series of previous trademark complaints. In June of this year, Intel filed a complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center that asked for the cancellation or transfer of 15 different domain names that included the "Pentium" trademark.