It looks like we might not have to start referring to low cost mini-laptops as minibooks, kneetops, smallbooks, lightbooks, pNetBooks, or litebooks anytime soon. While Psion, the comany that owns the trademark to the term “netbook” has asked companies to stop using the term, computer maker Dell has filed a petition challenging Psion’s trademark.
In a nutshell, Dell claims that the term is generic and that Psion has abandoned the trademark. Psion hasn’t produced a computer with the netbook name in years, and currently only sells peripherals to support older machines. Psion was also kind of absent during most of 2007 and 2008 when the whole tech world started referring to a new class of computing devices as “netbooks.”
Oh yeah, Dell also accuses Psion of fraud, because an official with Psion claimed in 2006 that the company was still selling all the items listed in its trademark application — and that would have included the original Psion Netbook computer which was not available from the company in 2006.
It’s not over until it’s over, and just because Dell has filed a petition doesn’t mean anything will change. But the folks at Save the Netbooks are already declaring victory, since the petition looks pretty strong.