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Psion countersues Intel for $1.2B over 'netbook' TM

updated 01:50 am EST, Tue March 3, 2009

Psion countersuit

Psion has reacted to Intel's lawsuit over the term 'netbook' by filing its own countersuit, arguing that the chip-maker's claims are "barred by reason of Plaintiff's own unclean hands," as the legal battle between the companies continues to develop, according to Ars Technica. The allegations further accuse Intel of "unjustly benefiting from Psion's goodwill and reputation" and "willfully and maliciously" encouraging other companies to participate in the trademark infringement.

Intel's lawsuit alleges that the public has adopted the word 'netbook' as a generic term representing a sub-category of smaller-sized notebook computers that are purpose-built for mobile Internet access. Given that Psion did register the trademark, the court would have to agree that the company company can no longer hold exclusive rights to the term. Dell was one of the first companies to take action, recently asking the US Patent Office to revoke the trademark.

An important part of Intel's argument involves the claim that Psion's netBook computers have been out of production since 2003. To refute the assertion, Psion's filing includes a chart detailing netBook revenue for each year. Interestingly enough, the plot shows revenue of only $24,503 in 2003 when the netBook Pro was taken off the market, but the numbers spike to an astounding $2,073,207 in 2006 when the company renewed its trademark.

Psion's countersuit aims to stop companies from illegally using the trademark, while demanding threefold compensation for all damages that have resulted from the alleged infringement, unfair competition, unfair trade practices and unjust enrichment. The filing also demands transfer of ownership rights to the domain.

The company specifically mentions all "Intel's profits resulting from its infringement" as part of the compensation, which could be interpreted to mean any profits from Menlow and Atom. According to Ars, the figure could easily surpass $400 million, or $1.2 billion when tripled. If the court ruled in Psion's favor, Intel would also have to pay punitive damages.

Psion is seeking to have the case presented before a jury, although both cases are fresh and there is still plenty of opportunity for more legal maneuvering.

by MacNN Staff



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