Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
trademark

Companies:
intel



Intel Suing More Companies For Trademark Infringement

from the gotta-keep-the-lawyers-busy dept

Earlier this year, we mentioned that Intel was suing a travel agency for having the name Intellife Travel, despite the fact that trademark law is pretty clear that trademarks only cover specific areas of business, and Intel is not in the travel business. This wasn't the first time Intel had stretched trademark law, either. As we wrote last year, it was suing a jeans company as well. Law.com is running an article noting that Intel appears to have stepped up its trademark lawsuit campaign this year, filing 15 lawsuits already, including a recent one against Intellectric, an electrician in Southern California who has been using the name for years.

Intel, of course, claims it needs to sue to protect its name, but this is incorrect. It only needs to sue in clear cases of confusion or dilution. These names of companies in totally unrelated businesses (where there's no chance of confusion) are situations where there is no impact on Intel and they need not sue. There are some cases where it could make sense -- and I'll grant Intel's lawsuit against the research firm "Insider Intel" might make sense, given Intel's trademark on "Intel Inside," but many of these other lawsuits are ridiculous.

Yet, because many of the businesses are small, while Intel is huge, the businesses are forced to settle. Remember the travel agency? Rather than fight the lawsuit (which it almost certainly would have won), the company decided to settle, though it can't talk about the terms of the settlement.

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