Sunday, June 13, 2010

Intel Corporation Asks Court To Deny

Intel Corporation has asked the Honorable Judge Charles Breyer to deny our motion to dismiss. The hearing on this motion is scheduled for July 2.

The Opposition To Defendant's Motion To Dismiss does proceed on the basis we predicted. Specifically, Intel Corporation has highlighted the improbable and almost borderline claim that our customers, actual or prospective, may overlap with their customers because Intel Corporation publishes newsletters:

• The parties each utilize INTEL-formative marks (e.g. INTEL v. LATIN INTEL) and Intel uses a large family of INTEL-formative marks;

(INTEL, a coined portmanteau for integrated electronics; LatinIntel, a generic English-language descriptor for Latin American intelligence gathering)

• To offer related (if not competitive) products and services (e.g., newsletters that address business and economic developments in Latin America, among other regions);

(Yes, this is where Intel Corporation asserts that among its many activities in Latin America, it publishes newsletters. Nobody, and certainly not a federal court judge, will for a second believe that the California-based technology manufacturer has any business as a "SPECIALIZED INFORMATION PUBLISHER.")

• To a specifically identified and significantly overlapping customer base (e.g., executives of the majority of U.S. Fortune 500 companies); and

(Yes, the type of customer base that the Mexico Watch Intelligence Service targeted was indeed top executives of global companies, executives with significant responsibilities in Mexico. From the Specialized Information Publishers Association: "The market consists of companies or individuals within companies who need specialized information about their industries that may not be available or is extremely difficult to find without the efforts of a specialized-information publisher and are willing to pay high prices for that information.")

• Such conduct is likely to cause confusion amongst Defendant’s actual and prospective customers.

(The Plaintiff's "likelihood of confusion" argument is, in fact, so weak that they are now focusing on a dilution argument. Read on.)

Intel has pled that:

• An astounding 86% of consumers who associate the term 'intel' with any word, definition or mark (not just a trademark) associate the term with Intel Corporation; and

(What is astounding about this sentence? How about the choice of the word astounding? This survey is surprising because it suggests 14% of people who think of intel as a word don't even recognize Intel Corp.?? We do not know, because this survey, its methodology, its authority, and its statistical confidence, have not been divulged. We conducted one unscientific online survey seeking one or more definitions for "intel" and found 33% thought it meant one thing, Intel Corporation; 33% thought it meant two things, shorthand for intelligence and Intel Corporation; 33% thought it meant more than two things, but at least the previous pair of definitions.)

• Intel will make the requisite showing of the likelihood of the loss of such distinctiveness “through the submission of survey evidence,” which is the standard method to establish an actionable likelihood of dilution.

(Would, not will. But only if Judge Charles Breyer lets Intel Corporation's flagitious complaint survive.)

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