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Psion Accuses Intel of Cybersquatting 116

Save the Netbooks writes "We discussed Psion sending C&Ds late last year over international trademarks held on the term 'netbook' and Dell accusing Psion of fraud last week. Since then Intel has joined in by suing Psion in federal court. On Friday Psion counter-sued Intel (court filing, PDF). SaveTheNetbooks.com has an analysis here. Psion has demanded a jury trial, profits, treble damages, destruction of material bearing the mark 'netbook' and the netbook.com domain (among other things), claiming that they are still actively selling netbooks despite also revealing sales figures showing a minuscule market share. It seems that declaring victory may have been a little premature as it will be months before the dispute plays out in court."
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Psion Accuses Intel of Cybersquatting

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  • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:28AM (#27039645)
    Hey, if you can't make it with the quality of your product, just make sure you are in the news a lot.
  • savethenetbooks.com (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02, 2009 @10:31AM (#27039673)
    cool website number :)
  • by ghostis ( 165022 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:04AM (#27040025) Homepage

    Looks like netbooks may need a new name, for now... I recently did a whois search across all the prefixes and suffixes I could think of for small laptops (mobile-,mini-, -top, -book, etc.: net,com,org) All the .coms, .nets, and most .orgs were taken. Would one of you who has a short catchy one of these domains step forward to offer the name to the community?


  • by dschuetz ( 10924 ) <<gro.tensad> <ta> <divad>> on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:09AM (#27040093)

    I think the industry should all stop using the Netbook name, immediately. And then take out multiple advertisements to "clear up the confusion," pointing out how much better their fully-functional micro-laptops are.

    Tag line: "Why buy a Netbook(TM) when you can have a Dell?" (with proper attribution for Netbook, naturally).

  • by samj ( 115984 ) * <samj@samj.net> on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:57AM (#27040723) Homepage

    Psion have essentially given an amnesty to bloggers and journalists using the term "netbook" (which may prove reason enough in itself to take the trademark off them since any licensing must include quality assurance). That includes blogs with advertising as explained here [jkontherun.com]:

    "where a blogger uses context sensitive advertising that is completely outside of its control (so it has no knowledge at all whether a 'Netbook' related advert will be placed in its blog site), then we're taking the view that we need to focus on working on persuading the featured retailer to adopt a term other than 'netbook'."

    This is why we believe the amnesty doesn't go far enough [savethenetbooks.com].

  • by david.given ( 6740 ) <dg AT cowlark DOT com> on Monday March 02, 2009 @11:57AM (#27040733) Homepage Journal

    I have a Psion Netbook. It's a stunningly nice machine, with a really good keyboard (I mean, really good; it's got full sized keys and is extremely comfortable to type on), a decent touch-sensitive colour screen, PCMCIA, CF and a huge battery life with no moving parts.

    Unfortunately by today's standards it's pretty antiquated. It runs EPOC, which may have been good then but is pretty useless today, and the 32MB of RAM isn't quite good enough to run anything else on (although you can hack Debian onto it, you wouldn't want to do real work with it). Connectivity is lousy: no wireless, no USB, no ethernet, and the only expansion is a single old-fashioned PCMCIA slot. The two or three models of 16-bit wireless cards that EPOC supported are now landfill. The only alternative is to use a PCMCIA USB card --- but PCMCIA (not Cardbus) USB cards are like hen's teeth. It's got infrared which I've never made work and RS232 for which you can't get the cables.

    So I've never actually found anything useful to do with my Netbook yet. If it had wireless it'd be great as a remote terminal. Alas, without it, it sits uselessly at the back of a cupboard...

  • by 2short ( 466733 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @02:27PM (#27042603)

    Legally, you are probably right. But in judging Intel ethically, it matters to me whether they started saying "netbook" with the intention of stealing the name and trading on the reputation of Psions product. They clearly did not.

    The real clincher (in the court of my opinion) would be whether it was even Intel that started calling them that. This is not clear to me. Certainly I first became aware of "netbook" as a generic descriptor of the class of machines, with no particular tie to Intel.

    It's a good name fro a class of machines that needs one, and it seems considerably too late to put the genie back in the bottle.
  • by 2short ( 466733 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @04:54PM (#27044361)
    "This is the law."

    No, this is slashdot. As I have tried to make clear, I am more interested in whether I personally think Intel are being evil bad guys here than in the details of the law involved. Call me arrogant if you like, but the law does not determine my opinion.

Loose bits sink chips.