Psion has issued a rather surprising response to challenges to its “netbook” trademark from Intel and Dell. Those companies claim that Psion essentially abandoned its rights to the trademark when it stopped manufacturing the original Psion Netbook and Psion Netbook Pro a a few years back. But Psion sent a letter to tech blog jkOnTheRun that explains that while the company isn’t manufacturing Netbooks anymore, it does still sell them.
Here’s the deal. Psion doesn’t sell its Netbook products directly to consumers through retail outlets. But the company is marketing and selling them “in the highly specialized supply chain logistics area” in the US and European Union.
Well, this certainly puts a different spin on things. If Psion is actively selling a product called a Netbook, then perhaps the company can claim rights to the trademark it received back in 2003. But it’s still not clear why exactly Psion waited until chip makers, computer makers, retailers, bloggers, and journalists had been using the term “netbook” generically for the better part of a year before the company started trying to enforce its trademark.