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.

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3 replies on “Qualcomm responds to “smartbook” trademark claim”

  1. Well there was book digital….

    They sold a device called a Smartbook G138 (and it was a mini netbook type device with an arm processor, 7″ screen and GPRS). So I seriously think Qualcomm will have trouble proving it is generic when there were actually devices from a specific company sold retail under that name that are in exactly the same product category they are aiming the term at….

    Surprised this trademark owner hasn’t stepped up to the plate. I think book digital may be away but guess someone must own the rights to it.

    1. Do they hold the German trademark or do they merely have the paperwork in for it?

      1. from what i gather this is common in Germany for companies to sue smaller companies rather than go after the big dogs who are also using the term. actually found that out at https://www.smartbook.asia through their news. weird practice if you ask me

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