Intel sued over 'dual-core' branding

Californian ultramobile PC maker DualCor accuses Intel of misappropriating its trademark, which it gained last year

Intel is being sued in a trademark case over the use of the term "dual-core" in its product labelling.

The lawsuit was filed last week by California-based ultramobile PC firm DualCor. The suit accuses Intel of misappropriating the DualCor trademark with the result that DualCor has been "deprived of the value of its trademark as a commercial asset".

DualCor filed for a trademark on its name in May 2004. The US Patent and Trademark Office granted the trademark in July 2006. DualCor claims Intel was aware of DualCor and its name since it was established in 2003. DualCor is seeking to have the case heard by a Californian jury.

The PC maker is claiming damages against Intel and it is seeking an injunction against any further trademark infringements.

Whilst it has picked out the largest chipmaker that uses the "dual-core" description, other suppliers, such as AMD, Sun and IBM, sell similar products. At the time of writing, DualCor could not say if it would pursue any other manufacturers.

Intel has rejected DualCor's claims. A spokesman said: "Intel believes that DualCor's allegations are unfounded. Intel will attempt to settle the matter amicably with DualCor but intends to defend this case vigorously if DualCor continues to pursue it."

It is not the first time the issue of dual-core processing has been at the centre of a dispute.

In July, PC World escaped punishment from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after one of its national press adverts appeared to suggest that dual-core Intel-based machines performed twice as fast as those with a single core. The person who made the complaint to the ASA claimed that, because of shared hardware components, Core 2 Duo machines would be no more than 1.7 times faster than machines with a single-core processor.

PC World successfully argued that the text "twice as fast" was linked to benchmarking against previous Intel chipsets.

Intel is currently marketing its new range of quad-core processors.