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Intel Corporation v. Americas News Intel Publishing LLC (C.D. Cal.)

Practice Area: Trademark Infringement

Outcome: Plaintiff dismissed own case when faced with our defense

Description: "Chip giant Intel has a bit of a reputation for being a trademark bully at times, threatening or suing many companies just for having 'intel' in their name somewhere -- including a travel agency and a jeans company.... Intel's lawyers seem to go out of their way to find potential infringement where there obviously is none at all. "Paul Alan Levy alerts us to the latest such case, where Intel has sued the operators of the Mexico Watch newsletter, because its domain is Of course, the reason for that is that it is using the commonly accepted abbreviation of "intel" as short for "intelligence." It's common shorthand, especially within government circles, to refer to gathered intelligence as simply "intel." The owners of the site explained this to Intel, and in return were given a boilerplate explanation about trademark law, insisting that since Intel's trademark is so valuable, it still has to stop others from using it -- even if they're in a totally different business, which is an interesting interpretation of trademark law, and one not supported by the courts in most cases. "More importantly, no one is going to look at and confuse it for the world's largest computer chip maker. No one is going to look at that site and wonder how come they can't order a Centrino processor. There's simply no confusion at all... [A]fter more than two years of this back and forth, Intel sued Mexico Watch, even though it's not even close to competitive and any "moron in a hurry" (as the popular trademark test notes) would clearly know the difference between a site about Mexican politics and a company selling microprocessors."

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