Dell Asks Trademark Gods To Dump Psion's Netbook Mark

from the hope-it-works dept

It looks like the effort to save the “Netbook” name from Psion’s rather weak attempt to reclaim the trademark after abandoning it for about six years has picked up some corporate support. Dell has filed a petition with the USPTO, asking it to cancel Psion’s trademark, noting (accurately) that Psion hasn’t used the mark in commerce for six years and failed to properly defend it, thus effectively giving up the trademark. Psion will undoubtedly fight this, but it’s difficult to see why they should be able to keep the trademark on netbooks, considering the company has had nothing to do with the current success of the term.

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Companies: dell, psion

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Comments on “Dell Asks Trademark Gods To Dump Psion's Netbook Mark”

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Willton says:

Re: Right for the wrong reason.

The reason Psion shouldn’t get to keep the trademark is that nobody will be confused by a “Netbook”, buy it, and then think “Wait, this isn’t a Psion netbook”. It really doesn’t matter whether they had anything to do with the success of the term per se.

If Psion had been using the mark for the past 6 years, I would have to disagree. iPods have been around for even longer, and the term has essentially become synonymous with MP3 players in general. But people still associate “iPod” with Apple because Apple has been using the mark for a long time. The reason few associate “Netbook” with Psion is because Psion has not used “Netbook” in so long.

Save the Netbooks (user link) says:

Nice clear summary...

@Zubin: thanks for the nice clear summary of what it means for a trademark to be a source-identifier. When you’re technical people buried in legalese it can be hard to spell it out in plain english sometimes (as you just have).

We’re not so sure Psion will fight it… they may well go through the motions because they pretty much have to anyway but don’t expect to hear much more from them until the petition is dealt with. Fortunately it’s a public process so we can monitor it fairly closely.

Rick says:

Dell Asks Trademark Gods To Dump Psion's Netbook Mark

Whether or not Psion utilized the trademarked Netbook logo. If Dell wants it so bad, then they should pay for it and not try to usurp it. As for the legal terminology and the teams of lawyers necessary to define it … Laws and legal terminology are only necessary to accomidate the occupations of lawyers and politicians, neither of which I have much faith in.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Dell Asks Trademark Gods To Dump Psion's Netbook Mark

There is nothing to pay for. Trademarks are not “owned” “in gross”. They only have meaning when they are being used in domestic and international commerce in association with a specific product or service. Why? Because a trademark or service mark is intented to prevent confusion by consumers. There simply cannot be confusion when a trademark registrant is no longer using the trademark in association with anything being offered to consumers.

Dell is doing the right thing by seeking a declaration that Psion is not entitled by law to claim nothing more than a word it is no longer using since the word no longer serves as a trademark.

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