Thursday, September 2, 2010

FACT BOX: Intel Corp. -- Shoot First, Let Bankruptcy Sort Them Out

(Fact Box At End)

A few weeks ago, we received yet another communication from a company that had been sued by Intel Corporation. This company, like our own, used "intel" in its domain name. And this company, like our own, is engaged in the business of providing information and news. The owner of this small company told us that the legal costs associated with defending himself were beyond the capacity of his firm to absorb, and that he would probably be forced out of business. At best, the costs of rebranding and reworking his entire public relations network (social media website, etc.) would represent a crushing expense that the company may or may not survive.

We have received contact from numerous companies, and it is clear that there are multiple examples of Intel Corporation attacking private entities using the English-language word in its public usage context.

Let's set out some facts.

FACT #1: Intel Corporation routinely issued Cease & Desist orders to small companies involved in various information and intelligence services industries that have utilized the English word intel to describe their business.

FACT #2: Intel Corporation does not consider nor care whether such a description is clear, helps identify a product or services customers, or falls clearly within the domain of fair use. Its stated policy is to attack EVERY SINGLE USAGE of 'intel' in a trademark, name, or domain, regardless of the fairness or legality of said usage.

FACT #3: Intel Corporation routinely offers these small companies -- using 'intel' in the generic, English-language sense of the word -- THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in order to compel them to accept a changeover without going to court.

FACT #4: Intel Corporation informs all of these same small companies that if they do not accept a "goodwill payment" and abandon any usage of 'intel' that it will mount a prohibitively expensive federal lawsuit against them, and spare no expense it its prosecution.

FACT #5: Despite what the company may say, this IS NOT STANDARD intellectual property policy for those firms that have ill-advisedly chosen English-language words as their trademark. Common examples are Shell, Apple, and Vans. These companies will police and defend their trademark when it is used outside of the fair-use public domain. INTEL CORPORATION IS ONE OF THE FEW LARGE COMPANIES THAT IS SO OPENLY AND AGGRESSIVELY PURSING THIS BLATANT ABUSE OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM, USING ITS FINANCIAL MIGHT TO FORCE CAPITULATION AND BANKRUPTCIES OF SMALL COMPANIES ACROSS AMERICA AND THE WORLD!!!

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