Psion Relinquishes Netbook Trademark

Concedes to its becoming a generic term.

Speculation as to the consequences should Psion succeed in its quest to take control of the ‘netbook’ moniker as used by just about everyone, despite it – it was argued – being a brand name and as such Psion’s property. Psion has reached an agreement with Intel – its initial target – having reached “an amicable agreement under which Psion will voluntarily withdraw all of its trademark registrations for ‘Netbook’.

As a result Psion won’t be taking any action against any third party over past present or future use of the term netbook, which means we’re all safe using the term to refer to sub-notebooks. Of the 10.6in or below, atom-powered, cheap variety, not the number of many not-a-netbooks – I’m looking at you Sony P-series (too expensive), and Asus Eee PC S101 (too expensive) and Dell Mini 12 (too large).

Quite how Intel and Psion settled the dispute us unknown. Considering Psion was asking for over a billion dollars in damages, it seems likely Intel negotiated a financial agreement. Although it could be argued that the resurgence of the netbook name has done more good than harm to Psion – a brand that had become pretty much unknown in the last few years. Whatever the arrangement, it’s undoubtedly to the good of us all. “Small Atom-powered, low cost notebook computer” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

We all know there is only one true Netbook, though.


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