Intel, which helped create the market for netbooks when it introduced its Atom processor in 2008, has now ended its trademark dispute with Psion, a company that specializes in developing rugged devices and RFID technology. The fight centered on whether a company could own the right to the term "netbook."
Intel and Psion, a company
that specializes in creating rugged devices and developing RFID technology
both announced June 1 that the companies had resolved a trademark dispute
concerning the term "netbook."
On Monday, Psion issued a statement on its Website that claimed it had
settled the trademark dispute with Intel, which had been filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California.
"The litigation has been settled through an amicable agreement under which
Psion will voluntarily withdraw all of its trademark registrations for -Netbook,'"
according to Psion's statement. "Neither party accepted any liability. In light
of this amicable agreement, Psion has agreed to waive all its rights against
third parties in respect of past, current or future use of the -Netbook' term."
Later, an Intel spokesperson confirmed to eWEEK that the chip giant had
settled its claim with Psion "amicably." According to the spokesperson, Intel
considers "netbook" a generic term that can refer to any type of
small, low-cost laptop, whether it uses an Intel Atom processor and chip set or
another company's chip technology.
In 2008, Psion filed legal action against Intel, claiming the company did
not have the right to use the term "netbook." While both companies
claimed to have jointly ended the dispute, neither offered much detail about
what the settlement entailed.
which are also referred to as mininotebooks or low-cost laptops by other chip
makers and some market research firms
, remain one of the brighter spots in
the PC industry, which has suffered due to the recession in the United
While once considered a laptop for a niche market, nearly all PC makers now
make some type of netbook. Asus
has had the most success with its Eee PC line
, but Hewlett-Packard, Acer,
Dell, Lenovo and others all offer some type of mininotebook or netbook.
Advanced Micro Devices, which is Intel's main rival when it comes to PC
chips, has steered away from netbooks, which is still a term closely associated
with Intel and its Atom chip. Instead, AMD
is looking to create new types of thin and light notebooks that use low-power
but offer the same type of performance found in full-sized laptops.
Microsoft is another company that has shown interest in how netbooks will
change computing in the coming years. Not only is Microsoft being challenged by
Linux within the netbook market, but many PC
makers are also reportedly tinkering with Google's Android operating system.
In May, Microsoft
announced that it has adjusted its Windows 7 Starter edition
to allow users
to run more applications, which should help Microsoft within the netbook market.