The concept of trademark is often misunderstood (and often abused, too). It's not intended to give a holder complete control over a word or mark, rather it's intended to prevent confusion in the marketplace -- so, for instance, I couldn't start selling a computer operating system called Windows, since it might confuse people into thinking it was that better-known version of Windows. With that in mind, the news that Intel has won a trademark dispute in Indonesia is a little odd, since the company on the other side was making Intel-brand blue jeans. Last we checked, it was pretty obvious that you couldn't power a computer with dungarees, nor could you use a processor for a pair of pants. An Indonesian court initially agreed, but now the country's Supreme Court has cancelled the clothing maker's domestic trademark, in effect shutting down its brand of jeans. Intel, of course, heralds this as some great victory for global intellectual property rights -- but really, it's hard to see how battling some jeans maker in one of the company's minor markets does much for it in the long run. Unless, of course, it's got plans for us all to be rocking Centrino shirts, Rosedale pants and the special Viiv underwear during the fall season.
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