A trademark for 'Netbook'? Who knew?

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

Lately I've been thinking about picking up a "Netbook", something nice and portable to take on road trips or the occasional on site reporting gig. But perhaps I should be careful with what I wish for, or at least what I call it.

Late last year Missisauga-based Psion Teklogix began sending cease and desist notices to tech bloggers and some netbook makers, arguing they were violating its trademark, and gave them until the end of March to comply. (Sample letter courtesy Savethenetbooks.com).

Naturally, this didn't sit well with the blogging community, who argued the term was generic and not the property of a single company. One group started a "Save the Netbooks" campaign, with an accompanying Facebook group that has a modest 91 members.

More importantly, technology giants aren't too happy with the claim either. As CNet and PC Pro report, Dell and Intel have both filed petitions asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the trademark, with Dell saying in its petition that Psion Teklogix abandoned its claim once it stopped marketing products with the Netbook name six years ago. (Psion Teklogix also owns the trademark in Canada.)

We'll keep an eye on how these petitions play out and follow how Psion Teklogix responds after March 31.

In the meantime, anyone know where a guy can get a good deal on a portable notebook with network connectivity?