Saturday, November 15, 2008

Article Highlights Intel’s Aggressive Trademark Enforcement

Back in July, I highlighted (link here) an opposition filed Intel against a company that was seeking to register the mark INTELLEQUITY (an opposition which is still pending with the parties continuing to extend the time for the applicant to answer while the parties engage in settlement discussions). See Intel Corporation v. Business Development Partners, LLC, Opposition No. 91185394 (T.T.A.B. Filed July 23, 2008).

An article by Zusha Elinson published on earlier this week (link here) highlights some of Intel’s other aggressive trademark infringement lawsuits.

According to the article, Intel has filed 15 trademark infringement and/or trademark dilution actions this year against companies with the word “intel” in their name. You can see the list for yourself on Justia (although I only count 14 actions, one of which is likely a declaratory judgment filed in Florida three days before Intel brought suit in California).

The article spotlights one particular suit against Barry Hood who received a 108-page trademark-infringement lawsuit from Intel for using the name Intellelectric for his sole proprietorship. The article also notes Hood’s unsuccessful attempt to get help from Pre-Paid Legal Services because the “trademark dispute was a pre-existing condition and not covered by his plan.” Interestingly, however, Hood’s accountant apparently negotiated a payment from Intel of $3,500 to allow Hood to change his name (Intel having apparently originally offered him $1,500 to change the name).

Intel also sued a travel agency (Intellife Travel), an investment advisory business (Insider Intel), and an Ohio telecom company (Intelcom). The travel agency, acting pro se, fought back against Intel for about a month (their cause having caught the attention of TechCrunch blogger Erick Schonfeld in his post “Intel Is Worried You Might Think It Is A Chinese Travel Agency” which includes a copy of the complaint received and some of the back and forth correspondence). The agency apparently reached its own confidential settlement with Intel – but as of today, the agency’s website is still up and running.

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