Five years ago: AMD free to use MMX term

The decision removes a shadow from AMD's K6 processor launch

First published 2 April, 1997.

A shadow was removed from AMD's K6 processor launch planned for late today when the chip maker announced it is now free to use the MMX name in marketing and advertising copy. A federal judge in the US has turned down Intel's request for a temporary restraining order in the trademark suit over the MMX term, freeing AMD to use the term in promoting K6 chips.

AMD officials were predictably delighted. "We believe the term MMX belongs to the public domain and that it is commonly understood to be a shorthand reference to multimedia extensions," said Thomas McCoy, AMD vice president and general counsel. "Our intent all along has been to communicate that the AMD-K6 MMX processor directly executes the multimedia extensions to the x86 instruction set known as MMX." Intel has long argued that MMX is not an acronym for 'multimedia extensions'.

However, a sting in the tale can't be ruled out. A court hearing on April 29 will hear arguments on Intel's earlier request for a preliminary injunction.