August 31, 2009 at 1:46 pm
Over the weekend we learned that German bloggers are being targeted by German company Smartbook AG who says that the ‘smartbook’ term is trademarked by them. At the time, we weren’t sure whether this trademark only applied to Germany but now we know that this is the case.
JKOnTheRun received a press release that says that the company that came up with the smartbook term as we know it, Qualcomm, has been hit with a restraining order. The order says that Qualcomm cannot use the ‘smartbook’ term in Germany or risk facing a €250k fine.
The smartbook term describes a family of devices that are based on ARM chips, are always connected to the internet and have all day battery life. Smartbook AG makes traditional notebooks. Excerpts of the press release are attached after the break.
Qualcomm Inc. as well as Qualcomm CDMA “are not authorized to use without approval of the Smartbook AG the character sequence ’Smartbook’ in all notations in association with mobile computers – such as laptops (notebooks) – in the context of business communications expressed in technically retrievable Internet offers in the area of the Federal Republic of Germany without providing information that in the region of the Federal Republic of Germany any usage of the sign ’Smartbook’ in association with mobile computers is exclusively reserved to the SMARTBOOK AG.”
“According to this resolution, a fine of up to EUR 250,000.00 applies – alternatively an arrest for contempt of court – in the case of a non-compliance.”
“Internet sites of the Qualcomm Inc. such as www.hellosmartbook.com and Internet sites of the German branch office Qualcomm CDMA GmbH, which refer to the US website of the Qualcomm Inc., were already blocked for users with a German IP address“, according to Dirk Pick, CEO of the Smartbook AG.
“We are confronted with an almost absurd but at the same time bold attack against our brand name. It is Qualcomm who forced us to implement defensive measures. We will protect our brand.“