Over the past few days, the battle over the term “smartbook” has heated up a bit. A few months ago chip-maker Qualcomm started using the term to describe low power, 3G-enabled mini-laptops using ARM-based processors like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset.
But a German company called Smartbook is working to protect the term, and a German court has ordered Qualcomm to stop using the word in that country. Now Qualcomm is responding… and says that the company never tried to own the term, but rather believes it is a generic term. You know, like “laptop,” or “netbook.”
The problem is, there weren’t a lot of people using the word Smartbook to describe ARM-powered netbooks generally before Qualcomm started promoting the term earlier this year. On the other hand, as jkOnTheRun pointed out in June, there are plenty of other companies that have trademarked the word to describe one product or another.
In the meantime, Qualcomm points out that the German court order isn’t finalized, Qualcomm still gets a chance to respond, and the ruling has no impact outside of Germany for now.