Psion cries “uncle” in netbook trademark beef

1 06 2009

Computer makers can legally continue to make and sell products labeled as a “netbook.” Psion, which held a trademark for the word “netBook” since 1996, has agreed to settle its lawsuit with Intel over the term and stop sending cease-and-desist orders to companies that use the term.

Psion made a series of tiny portable computers in the late ’90s and early ’00s under the brand name “netBook” that were intended to be much like current netbooks. But those may have been before their time, as sales were poor and Psion dropped the brand in 2003. Intel began referring to low-powered sub-notebooks, ideally powered by its own Atom processors, as netbooks in 2008. Though there is still some contention as to what a netbook truly is, the term has stuck—and sales of the inexpensive portables have grown considerably in the last year.

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