Saturday, February 28th 2009
Here's a quick reminder before going straight to the story. Recently both Intel and Dell filed petitions asking for the cancellation of Psion Teklogix' "Netbook" trademark. Both manufacturers said they need the "Netbook" term liberated from any trademark responsibility, so they can use it as unified term for new class of ultra-portable laptop computers designed for use on the go. Currently makers like Dell, ASUSTeK, Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Samsung, MSI, GIGABYTE and many others sell products branded as netbooks. Today Psion responded to the legal accusations, by sending an official response to the public. The full statement, because too big, will appear after you click on the read full story marker.
In 2006, Psion in fact had multi-million dollar sales of the Netbook Pro computer in both the US and the EU. The bulk of sales were (and continue to be) in the highly specialised supply chain logistics area – perhaps not the easiest thing for third parties to get visibility on, but nevertheless, real sales to real customers in the US. And those real sales to real customers in the US continue even to this day. Attached is a typical Netbook Pro sales flyer (not included here), so you can see that Psion really were (and are) branding this computer as a ‘Netbook’.Source: jkOnTheRun
I can quite understand why people might have assumed that sales ceased a while back – it’s not as if the product has been in Best Buy. But those people simply had no access to Psion’s confidential sales information.
So the facts are that, although manufacture has been discontinued, sales in the US and EU have not. And its continuing sales that are important to preventing a trademark from becoming abandoned. We’ll of course be setting the record straight in our court filings.
Incidentally, manufacture of the Netbook Pro had to cease prematurely not because of any lack of demand. It was because supplies of a replacement for a specialised chip controller could not be found – the Netbook Pro had very sophisticated power management, given it 8 hours of runtime and 10 days in standby, as well as instant-on (still an amazing feature in a laptop). Because of the sophisticated nature of the Netbook Pro design, a simple replacement controller could not be found and that meant that manufacture had to cease once those supplies of controllers were exhausted; it was a great pity.
I hope this clarifies the situation; Psion continues to sell the Netbook Pro computer. It’s got all the invoices to prove multi-million dollar sales in the US in 2006, and sales that continue even to this day. There’s been no abandonment of the trademark.
Just because we’re not selling tens of thousands through Best Buy doesn’t mean we’re not entitled to our trademark.