Netbook name sparks Intel war of words

Intel and Dell pitching to make 'netbook' a generic term
Intel and Dell pitching to make 'netbook' a generic term

PC maker Psion Teklogix has sparked a war of words with Intel, over its claims that it owns exclusive rights to the netbook brand.

The whole name furore began last year when Psion sent out 'cease and desist' notices to fellow PC manufacturers, asking them to refrain using the term netbook as it was copyrighted.

Just last week, Dell issued a lawsuit asking for the name to be made free for all. Now Intel is arguing that Psion's claims are unfounded, as the trademark has been invalid since 2003.

Generic term

In its claim, Intel states: "Psion claims it has exclusive right to use the term netbook. It does not.

"The consuming public has already adopted netbook as a generic term for a category of notebook computer that are small, inexpensive, and contain less processing power... It is well established that netbook does not operate to identify a single source, or brand, of any such computer; netbooks are simply extensions of the notebook category."

Intel has been using the term netbook extensively in its marketing campaigns for its low-power Atom chip.

In an statement, Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy said: "Our view is that the term 'netbook' is a widely used generic term that describes a class of affordable computing devices, much like the term 'notebook' or 'ultra-mobile PC.'

"In order to continue to use the generic term 'netbook' we filed the case. We're asking for a decision to clarify that the use of 'netbook' does not infringe anyone's rights,"

Via PC Pro and Network World

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.