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Intel joins Dell in fight against 'netbook' trademark

Intel has joined the fight against Psion over the "netbook" trademark, arguing that the public already uses the term in a generic manner to represent "extensions of the notebook category, smaller computers purpose-built for mobile Internet access," according to the Courthouse News Service.

Intel has joined the fight against Psion over the "netbook" trademark, arguing that the public already uses the term in a generic manner to represent "extensions of the notebook category, smaller computers purpose-built for mobile Internet access," according to the Courthouse News Service.

Intel also pointed out that the British company, formally Psion Teklogik, trademarked the term for for a line of notebook computers, the "Psion Netbook Pro," that has been out of production since 2003 (and used Windows CE! -Ed.). Moreover, Intel says consumers already use the term generically, as "extensions of the notebook category, smaller computers purpose-built for mobile Internet access."

[Read the review of the Psion Netbook Pro on ZDNet UK]

In a similar filing this month, Dell asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to revoke the "netbook" trademark. The company also cited Psion's discontinued product line, claiming that Psion has no plans to start building them again. Furthermore, Dell accused Psion's senior product manager Herb Turzer of lying about using the term into 2005. Dell suggests that Psion lost control of the trademark when it allowed the term to become a commonplace description before it began its defense.

The "netbook" term has been met with mixed approaches by PC manufactuers. Several have been using the term in advertisements and descriptions, while others have deliberately avoided the reference. Psion late last year sent cease and desist orders to a number of websites that it claimed were inappropriately using the trademark, warning that its continued use would "damage" the trademarks but neglecting to say what action would be taken.