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Friday, February 20, 2009

Too late for netBook genericide?

Are you the proud owner of a netbook? Perhaps an Asus, Dell or MSI netbook?

No you're not - according to Psion there is only one "netBook" and that trademark was registered by them as early as 1996.

A number of sites using "netbook" in one generic sense or another received cease and desist letters from Psion at the end of December informing them as much, and many, like this site selling used netbooks, have opted to shut up shop rather than risk legal problems.

The story continues in the last few days with Dell pushing to "relieve" Psion of their trademark.

With Amazon and eBay sellers using the term "netbook" with impunity, and most customers using the term generically, probably unaware that there even is a Psion netBook, it is hard to see how a claim to the trademark can be sustained by Psion for much longer.