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Intel Sues Over "Intel" Trademark Infringement

By - Source: MJ | B 49 comments

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.

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  • 28 Hide
    plznote , October 14, 2011 2:27 AM
    AT first, I though Intel was suing Intel.
    Didn't doubt it for a second though, considering how much suing's been going on.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    plznote , October 14, 2011 2:27 AM
    AT first, I though Intel was suing Intel.
    Didn't doubt it for a second though, considering how much suing's been going on.
  • 4 Hide
    nordlead , October 14, 2011 2:29 AM
    even if it doesn't make sense, Intel has to defend their name. There are many examples of trademarks becoming meaningless because the companies fail to keep the meaning restricted to their product or brand. Xerox became a common name for copies, and Rollerblades became a common name for in-line skates. Not saying it will happen to Intel, but it shows why Intel is going to be aggressive about trademark infringement.
  • -6 Hide
    burnley14 , October 14, 2011 2:31 AM
    Quote:
    Only lawyers may be able to understand how Intelspec could have capitalized in its business by using "Intel" as part of its name.


    I disagree with you there. I see Intel in a company name and think of computers instantly, but maybe I'm just a geek. Brand recognition is extremely important for companies like Intel, and especially with something as pronounced as "Pentium."

    And this doesn't sound like reporting to me, this story is riddled with your opinions. Leave the opinions to the comments section, we users have them in excess.
  • 6 Hide
    surda , October 14, 2011 2:43 AM
    at least they sue for something that makes sense... unlike apple who just sues everybody for no stupid reason.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , October 14, 2011 2:50 AM
    Near as I can tell, Intel isn't defensible in any substantial fashion. They would need to have it be IntelMicro or something similar to be defensible. (like what they did with Pentium when they found out that 586 was too generic) Intel is a very common usage word, particularly around the defense industry where IntelSpec has contracts. IntelSpec makes perfect sense there.

    In short, I think this suit could actually go quite poorly for Intel, and cause a name change.
  • 4 Hide
    victorintelr , October 14, 2011 2:53 AM
    burnley14I disagree with you there. I see Intel in a company name and think of computers instantly, but maybe I'm just a geek. Brand recognition is extremely important for companies like Intel, and especially with something as pronounced as "Pentium."And this doesn't sound like reporting to me, this story is riddled with your opinions. Leave the opinions to the comments section, we users have them in excess.


    That might be true, but also think of how many people are going to look for Intel and find Intelspec, LLC to buy processors. Their business is way off Intel's business, have you been to their website? have you looked in the search engines like Bing or Google? put intel and you'll find page after page about intel processors and everything intel, put intelspec and you'll find Intelspec in the first page, then the lawsuits and then a bunch of websites with Intel specs (specifications) of computers running Intel processors.
  • 9 Hide
    mute20 , October 14, 2011 3:07 AM
    I hope I don't get sued

    Mike intel
  • 5 Hide
    lp231 , October 14, 2011 3:24 AM
    They can say "Intel" is short for intelligent, just add the extra L and I problem solve. Oh wait, Microsoft has a mouse call Intellimouse
  • 8 Hide
    julianbautista87 , October 14, 2011 3:38 AM
    basically, I can't say that someone is "intel"ligent because Intel(tm)(r) would sue me.
  • 2 Hide
    PreferLinux , October 14, 2011 4:01 AM
    I think you'll find there is a good reason: trademarks get invalidated if they aren't defended.
  • -4 Hide
    Benihana , October 14, 2011 4:46 AM
    I would've thought that Intelspec had something to do with Intel as well, and I'm not a complete idiot either.
  • 4 Hide
    clonazepam , October 14, 2011 5:25 AM
    Quote:
    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.


    I understand Intel is obligated to defend their trademark. However, in the case of Intelspec, you're not looking for a branded type of service they provide. If I'm looking for a company to provide oilfield infrastructure, I'm not looking for "intel" anything, I'm looking for 'oilfield infrastructure'. Intelspec doesn't produce or provide a service that has 'intel' as any part of the name or description of the service.

    I'll never go looking for an "intel" processor and decide to spend the money on "intelspec" to dig a well for me instead.

    I have two family members who worked as paralegals and that's pretty much the extent of my knowledge in this area, so I'm making this up as I go.
  • -1 Hide
    itchyisvegeta , October 14, 2011 5:56 AM
    Gonna go do some retro gaming on my Intellivision.

    But to be honest, if I were Paul Otellini, I would probably do the same thing. Intelspec would probably have a better case if they were Intellspec or In-Tell Spec. They will get some good publicity though.
  • 2 Hide
    yrmoma , October 14, 2011 5:58 AM
    This is silly. Microsoft doesn't go around suing people that have "Windows" in their name, just because they hold a trademark on Windows. There's a reason for it; window is a noun and a word describing something all on its own. The same thing goes for intel. Granted, it's an abbreviation, but it's still a word. I have a feeling this lawsuit won't go too far.
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , October 14, 2011 6:14 AM
    nordleadeven if it doesn't make sense, Intel has to defend their name. There are many examples of trademarks becoming meaningless because the companies fail to keep the meaning restricted to their product or brand. Xerox became a common name for copies, and Rollerblades became a common name for in-line skates. Not saying it will happen to Intel, but it shows why Intel is going to be aggressive about trademark infringement.


    intel is short for intelligence, so i cant real see a trade mark on that, unless its blatantly trying to deceive.
  • -1 Hide
    Martell77 , October 14, 2011 6:20 AM
    You have to look at it from all intelligence levels. There are some out there that hear Intel anything and associate it with Intel. Its just name recognition, which is what they wanted.

    Using Intel in the name could lead some to think that Intel is the parent company and if there is a problem, might try to call Intel to complain. Its is very possible that someone accociating the 2 companies might think that Intel is branching into other industries and then have certain expectations.

    Using Intelli- is different because it asscociates with "intelligent" in your mind.
  • 1 Hide
    spectrewind , October 14, 2011 7:04 AM
    I see this lawsuit going nowhere. They are not in the same industry (industrial engineering vs. wafer process).

    I'm no lawyer, although I did take a class on the legal aspects of engineering (worthless, perhaps?). There needs to be some kind of damage; something has to be overtly infringed, and the name has to cause some kind if ambiguation between the two companies, diverting customers and money, justifying the lawsuit.

    I'm not seeing it here.
  • 2 Hide
    spectrewind , October 14, 2011 7:08 AM
    Martell77You have to look at it from all intelligence levels. There are some out there that hear Intel anything and associate it with Intel. Its just name recognition, which is what they wanted.Using Intel in the name could lead some to think that Intel is the parent company and if there is a problem, might try to call Intel to complain. Its is very possible that someone accociating the 2 companies might think that Intel is branching into other industries and then have certain expectations.Using Intelli- is different because it asscociates with "intelligent" in your mind.



    How about military "intel"? The chip manufacturer did not invent the term. Whether or not the military reference (facts about a subject) came first, Intel Corp is not the originator.
  • 1 Hide
    noob2222 , October 14, 2011 7:38 AM
    stupid, next Apple will be suing every apple grower out there. http://www.appleorchardfarmnc.com/Home.html

    but first on the hitlist is this one. http://www.applecrest.com/
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