Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Friday 23/7/2004A word can have more than one meaning. Take Intel, which of course is the name of our very favourite chip company in the world ever.

Friday 23/7/2004
A word can have more than one meaning. Take Intel, which of course is the name of our very favourite chip company in the world ever. Short for 'Intelligent Electronics', it's stood the test of time admirably: even the logo has a timeless quality about it. Intel, however, has an older meaning as shorthand among the security and intelligence services for, well, intelligence -- hard-won information about those in whom you have an interest.

It is in this capacity that the private investigation company 7Intel uses the word in its name. Does Intel (the chip company) like this? It does not - and has written to 7Intel saying that the gumshoes are 'passing-off' their company as Intel and unless… you know the rest. Hand over the Web site and change your name, or Suffer The Wrath.

7Intel is run by ex-military investigator Gary Stapleton -- in fact, looking at the Web site, one suspects that 7Intel is Mr Stapleton -- who doesn't sound like the sort of chap to take this sort of thing sitting down. He says that nobody reading his Web site would be at all confused, and that this sort of thing is just not on. "I'm more than capable of taking care of myself and so am not intimidated by some American organisation that thinks it can just march in and take over someone else's country & natural resources (oops, oh dear, sorry, we meant collateral & trading name) without any legal basis, he chortles in a press release. "It's like Coca-Cola trying to trademark 'Cola'."

More ominously, he says: " On behalf of all the ‘little people’ Gary would like to advise Mr Gary Kershaw of Intel UK and Mr Andrew Grove Chief Exec of Intel Corporation that he will "see them in court", -- and would also like to take the opportunity to remind them that they may not want him (or his fellow professionals) looking too deeply into their affairs." And by way of a free gift, the press release includes a long list of links to places where Intel (the chip company) is currently under investigation -- as well as some to quick primers on the British law regarding passing-off.

Scary stuff, even coming from a company based on the Doncaster Great North Road (just between Cemetery Road and Green Lane), and we look forward to catching the denoument. Meanwhile - and we wish to phrase this question with the utmost good will -- if there's any chance you could send us just one copy of your press releases at a time, Mr Stapleton? Hm. Perhaps there's a hidden message in number two…

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