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Qualcomm's Restraining Order for 'Smartbook'

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 8 comments

Qualcomm has been slapped with a restraining order in Germany for its use of the word Smartbook as a product name.

Digitimes reports that Qualcomm has been hit with a restraining order in Germany for using the product name "Smartbook." The restraining order stems from a company called Smartbook AG. Granted by a Cologne District Court, Qualcomm faces a €250,000 fine or arrest for contempt if it refuses to comply.

Dirk Pick, CEO of Smartbook AG said the company considered Qualcomm's use of the term Smartbook an "absurd but at the same time bold attack against our brand name."

Pick continued on to say it was Qualcomm that forced the company to implement defensive measures.

The story echoes a similar suit involving Intel and Psion. The latter insisted it owned the trademark on 'netbook' as it had registered the name with the trademark office when it originally released its "Netbook Pro" handheld computer back in the 1990s. The two companies came to an agreement and settled their differences out of court in early June.

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  • 9 Hide
    Hanin33 , September 1, 2009 4:45 PM
    is it really that hard to find a list of all trademarked names? i would think these mega corporations would have a team to look into it before pouring money into marketing them...
  • 0 Hide
    otakuwind , September 1, 2009 5:14 PM
    I imagine it becomes a problem to track down all of these IP's when you have so many countries with so many trademarks and how ambiguous these suits have been. If they get a great Idea for something and they find that some guy in france made something called a "netbook" that was to made to catch books in 77' that you were just going to have to be sued. I think a simple solution would be to just add some numbers to the end of any proposed marketing scheme. For example, instead of wasting all of this money on long gone companies wanting free money for using the term "netbook" just slap an arbitrary number at the end. "Netbook2122" BOOM! we just improved the bottom line.
  • 5 Hide
    mforce2 , September 1, 2009 5:25 PM
    I think they're all trademarks, soon IBM will start enforcing PC maybe ,then where's all screwed :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Major7up , September 1, 2009 5:44 PM
    Hanin33is it really that hard to find a list of all trademarked names? i would think these mega corporations would have a team to look into it before pouring money into marketing them...

    Or they either don't care or think that they can get away with it.
  • -1 Hide
    virtualban , September 1, 2009 6:40 PM
    Trademarks should have a validity period if out of production. After that they should be recalled in history books :) . And the trademark should be something companies pay for on usage basis, so that lists to be created will have rightful financing.
  • 1 Hide
    maigo , September 1, 2009 7:28 PM
    Hanin33is it really that hard to find a list of all trademarked names? i would think these mega corporations would have a team to look into it before pouring money into marketing them...

    They could at least google it first
  • 1 Hide
    ssddx , September 1, 2009 8:16 PM
    smartbook.de
    how do you manage to miss that one when planning on launching a product in germany? That aside, smartbook AG should have discussed the matter with Qualcomm outside of court first. I am sure some arrangement could have been reached.
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , September 2, 2009 5:51 AM
    maigoThey could at least google it first


    +1