19 February 2009
Psion Teklogix, who own international trademarks on the term "netbook" relating to a product that was discontinued in 2003, had recently sent cease and desist letters to "literally hundreds" of recipients, including netbook enthusiast sites. The Save the Netbooks campaign was launched by an Australian firm "to fight the impending trademark threat" and has since declared victory and retired after only 48 hours. Having already had some success in their first mission to reverse the AdWords ban, they were in the process of filing a petition to cancel with USPTO when they discovered they had been beaten to it by none other than Dell Computer (who we discussed last year on the other side of a similar scandal relating to the "cloud computing" trademark). In the petition, in addition to abandonment and genericness Dell also alleged fraud, claiming that a Sr Product Manager at Psion Teklogix had given a false declaration of use under penalty of purgery back in 2006. In any case it is now very likely that the term "netbook" will be unencumbered and free for all to use (for better or worse).